The Pentagon has released surveillance videos showing a US air strike that killed 10 civilians in the Afghan capital last year, one of the final American combat missions in the country as Washington ended its two-decade war.
Published by the New York Times on Wednesday, the declassified 25-minute video shows the moment an Afghan aid worker and nine other non-combatants, including seven children, were killed in the US strike, all captured by two drones flying over Kabul during the August 29, 2021 bombing raid.
While the military initially claimed the strike targeted members of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) who were transporting explosives – with one senior official deeming the operation “righteous” – it was later forced to backtrack and acknowledge that only civilians were killed in the attack.
Ahead of the strike, two MQ-9 Reaper drones trailed a white Toyota Corolla driven by a man later identified as Zemari Ahmadi, an aid worker with the US-based Nutrition and Education International. After following him for some time, Ahmadi’s car was struck as he pulled into the driveway of his home, seen around eight minutes into the footage. The blast engulfed the property, instantly killing Ahmadi and several children who rushed out to greet him, as well as other family members nearby.