Marine Corps Gen. Kenneth McKenzie Jr., commander of the U.S. Central Command testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee during its hearing on the “U.S. Central Command and U.S. Africa Command in review of the Defense Authorization Request for FY2022 and the Future Years Defense Program in Washington on Thursday, April 22, 2021.
Caroline Brehman | CQ-Roll Call, Inc. | Getty Images
WASHINGTON – The Pentagon said Friday that a U.S. drone strike in Kabul last month killed 10 civilians including seven children.
“This strike was taken in the earnest belief that it would prevent an imminent threat to our forces and the evacuees at the airport, but it was a mistake,” U.S. Marine Corps General Kenneth McKenzie, commander of U.S. Central Command, said Friday.
“As the combatant commander. I am fully responsible for this strike and its tragic outcome,” McKenzie, who oversees U.S. military operations in the region, added.
The Pentagon originally said that the strike, which occurred Aug. 29, killed two ISIS-K fighters believed to be involved in planning attacks against U.S. forces in Kabul.
Army Maj. Gen. William Taylor said at the time of the strike that there were no known civilian casualties. Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said that the U.S. did not notify nor coordinate with the Taliban ahead of the strike. He added that the Defense Department did not notify other countries in the region nor U.S. lawmakers.
The drone strike came on the heels of a suicide bombing that resulted in the deaths of 13 U.S. service members and dozens of Afghans outside the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul.
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