Afghans the Pentagon accidentally killed in a drone strike say the US hasn’t offered them any compensation

Business Insider

Bill Bostock Thu, September 30, 2021

Afghans view aftermath of a US drone strike
Relatives and neighbors of the Ahmadi family gathered around the remains of a car after a US drone strike. Marcus Yam/Getty Images
  • Ten members of the Ahmadi family were killed by a misguided US drone strike on August 29.
  • Gen. Kenneth McKenzie said on September 17 that the US would help the family.
  • But they told CNN they have had no contact about reparations, and that they are struggling.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The family of 10 Afghans killed in error by a US drone strike last month said the US hasn’t offered them any compensation, CNN reported.

Ten people, including seven children, died after a US drone hit a compound near Kabul on August 29.

The Pentagon thought it had found an ISIS-K militant preparing a terror attack, but it had actually struck Zemari Ahmadi, an aid worker, and his family.

Ahmadi had been observed loading boxes into his car, which the US military believed were full of explosives. Footage obtained by The New York Times showed that Ahmadi was actually loading the car with water containers for his family.

At the time, Gen. Mark Milley, head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, referred to the attack as a “righteous strike” but following The Times’ investigation, the US military admitted on September 17 that it had made a mistake.

It took the US weeks to acknowledge that the strike had killed civilians, but Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie, the head of US Central Command, said on September 17 that the military found out the casualties were civilian in around four or five hours.

Gen. Kenneth McKenzie
Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie. Caroline Brehman/Getty Images

In his statement, McKenzie said the Pentagon would get in touch with the family to offer reparation payments. “I offer my profound condolences to the family and friends of those who were killed,” he said.

But members of the Ahmadi family told CNN in an article published Thursday that they have had no contact from the US, and that they were struggling to pay for basic supplies like food, clothes, and housing.

“[The US] just showed to the world that they made an apology to us and fulfilled their responsibility,” Zamarai Ahmadi’s sister Rohina told CNN.

“But they don’t know what my family is going through, what we were and what we are now.”

A photo on Zamarai Ahmadi's sister Rohina appearing on cnn to discuss the us drone strke
Zamarai Ahmadi’s sister Rohina seen talking to CNN. CNN

“A house full of life was turned into a graveyard,” she said.

Mike Howard, a Department of Defense spokesperson, told Insider: “The Department of Defense is actively considering different options for opening a direct line of communication with the family so that we may offer our condolences in a respectful, appropriate way. We would like to accompany those condolences with an ex gratia payment.”

The Ahmadi family were applying for US visas before the strike, CNN reported.

As part of an inquiry into the strike, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told the House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday that the Defense and State Departments would work try and help the Ahmadi family.

“If they desire to leave, then we’ll certainly do everything we can to facilitate getting them out,” he said.

The family are currently getting help with their rent from the nonprofit Nutrition and Education International, where Zamarai Ahmadi used to work, CNN said.

Read the original article on Business Insider

1 reply

  1. Well, it is understandable that the US hesitates, because the other 100’000 victims who did not reach to the media might come forward to ask for compensation too.

    Resettlement in USA? mmmm …. If I was a member of that family I would request resettlement somewhere else. Why go to a place where the murderers of the family walk free… just wondering.

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