Guardian: The US mistakenly targeted and killed an innocent aid worker for an American company in a drone strike in Afghanistan, the New York Times suggested in an investigation into the country’s final military action of the recently concluded 20-year war.
The victim, the newspaper said, was 43-year-old Zemari Ahmadi, who died with nine members of his family, including seven children, when a missile from a US air force Reaper drone struck his car as he arrived home from work in a residential neighborhood of Kabul.
US military officials have insisted the targets of the 29 August operation were Islamic State suicide bombers plotting an attack on Kabul airport similar to that which killed 13 American troops helping with evacuations, and more than 170 others three days earlier.
The action, Gen Mark Milley, chair of the US joint chiefs of staff, insisted, was a “righteous strike” against Isis-K members who had been observed at points during the day loading what a surveillance team thought to be explosives into the vehicle and visiting a known safe house of the terrorist group.
But the Times’ reporting, compiled from extensive video analysis, interviews with Ahmadi’s colleagues and family, and visits to the scene, casts considerable and potentially devastating doubt on that US official version of events.
What the US military observers figured was Ahmadi acting suspiciously, the newspaper said, was him going about his normal business as a worker for the California-based aid group Nutrition and Education International. Read more