Families of Kabul Drone Strike Victims Disappointed with Lack of Accountability

Family members of the Afghan civilians who were killed by a failed U.S. drone strike in august said Tuesday that they are disappointed and upset that the U.S. military personnel involved in the error will not be punished.

Three Zemerai Ahmadi brothers – a long-serving aid worker who was also killed by a hellfire missile that struck his car — said to The Associated Press that no one from the U.S. has reached out to them since the tragedy.

Seven children were killed in the strike that occurred on Aug. 29, during the last days of chaotic U.S. troop withdrawals from Afghanistan.

The Pentagon stated at first that it had got rid of a possible Islamic State target, but later on admitted that they had committed a “tragic mistake.”

Since then, the Defense Department has promised financial compensation to the family as well as help in evacuating them from Afghanistan.

The three brothers claim that no such assistance has been provided.

The Pentagon also divulged earlier this week that no military personnel were involved in the strike, which saddened the family.

Romal Ahmadi, whose children were aged 2-7 years, stated that he would like the U.S. military personnel responsible to be punished.

“But America is a superpower. We are powerless to do anything so we leave it to God to punish them,” Romal said.

The strike was errant after an Islamic State suicide bomber had killed 13 U.S. soldiers and almost 170 Afghans at Kabul’s airport gate. U.S forces were trying desperately to evacuate Afghans who might be in danger.

Ahmadi was driving a white Toyota that U.S. troops thought was an imminent threat to the airport at the time and bombed it.

Later, a Pentagon investigation revealed that the service members who identified and confirmed this car as credible targets had made several mistakes.

Press secretary John Kirby stated that the U.S. was still open to financial compensation for the Ahmadis, and possibly aid them in leaving the war torn region.

“With respect to an ex-gratia payment, which we are absolutely willing to make, we want to make sure that we do it in the most safe and responsible way so that we know it’s getting to the right people and only to the right people,” Kirby told reporters.

The Ahmadis disclosed that they were at risk if they stayed in Kabul. They have also been receiving threats from people who believe they have already been paid by the U.S.

“People are always asking us how much money we got,” said Emal Ahmadi, whose 3-year-old daughter Malika died in the airstrike.

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