The US Department of Defense said Friday that it had committed to offering condolences to the families of the ten people killed in a misdirected US drone strike in Kabul, Afghanistan, in August.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said in a statement that the Department of Defense is also working with the State Department to assist surviving family members with relocation to the United States.
Kirby said the matter was raised at a meeting between Dr. Colin Kahl, Secretary of State for Defense, and Dr. Steven Kwon, founder and president of the nonprofit Nutrition & Education International, performed.
“Dr. Kahl reiterated Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s commitment to the families, including voluntary condolences, ”Kirby said. He didn’t say how much money would be offered.
On August 29, a US Hellfire missile hit a car driven by Zemerai Ahmadi, who had just pulled into the driveway of the Ahmadi family compound. A total of 10 family members, including seven children, were killed in the strike.
Weeks later, Marine General Frank McKenzie, head of US Central Command, called the attack a “tragic mistake” and said that innocent civilians were actually killed in the attack.
During the meeting on Thursday, Kwon Kahl announced that Ahmadi had worked with NEI for many years and, according to Kirby, “provided care and life-saving aid to people with high mortality rates in Afghanistan”.
The US military initially defended the attack by stating that it had targeted the “mediator” of an IS group and disrupted the militants’ ability to carry out attacks during the chaotic final phase of the withdrawal of US and NATO troops from Afghanistan .
Discrepancies quickly emerged between the military representation of the attack and the findings on the ground. The Associated Press and other news outlets reported that the driver of the target vehicle was a long-time employee of a US humanitarian organization. There was no evidence of a major secondary explosion, despite claims by the Pentagon that the vehicle contained explosives.
The drone attack followed a devastating suicide attack by an Islamic State offshoot that killed 169 Afghans and 13 US military personnel at one of the gates of Kabul airport in late August.
Last month, McKenzie said the United States is considering making reparation payments to the families of the victims of the drone attack.