In the aftermath of the August terror attack in Afghanistan that left 13 U.S. service members dead, President Joe Biden bluntly promised to hunt down those responsible, but a report from the New York Times now suggests that rather than killing an ISIS operative, a retaliatory drone strike conducted in response actually resulted in the murder of an innocent ally and members of his family.
The reporting in the Times stands in significant contrast to the Biden administration’s characterization of the mission, which Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley said was a “righteous strike” involving procedures that were “correctly followed” and which resulted in the elimination of a supposedly imminent ISIS-K threat to the airport, as the New York Post noted.
Rather than ending in the deaths of a pair of suspected members of the Islamic State organization based the country’s eastern region, whose names the administration never did reveal, the Times report claims that the strike may have actually killed a man with no connection to ISIS and who was merely transporting water back to his family, according to Fox News.
The contention in the Times report was based on a detailed review of video evidence from the scene and interviews with at least 12 of the deceased man’s friends and relatives in the vicinity of the strike.
According to the outlet, the driver of the vehicle who died in the drone hit was Zemari Ahmadi, a “longtime worker for a U.S. aid group,” and that “the evidence suggests that his travels that day actually involved transporting colleagues to and from work.”
The report added that an analysis of video feeds showed that what the military may have seen and erroneously perceived to nefarious preparations for a terror attack was in fact Mr. Ahmadi and a colleague loading canisters of water into his trunk to bring home to his family.”
While the administration ultimately claimed that three civilians were also killed in the strike, the Times reveals that the true total is actually 10 dead, with seven of the deceased being children. including Ahmadi’s own offspring and relatives who ran to greet him upon his return home.
According to reporting from the Times, those killed in the strike included Ahmadi himself, three of his own children, aged 20, 16, and 10, respectively, as well as a 30-year-old cousin, three of his young nephews, and two three-year-old girls, as the Daily Mail noted.
Though the Biden administration was quick to cynically use the attack to change the subject from the deaths of American service members that occurred on his watch, it is clear that the entire episode was another of the many atrocities flowing from the botched troop withdrawal for which this president and his military advisors must be held to account.