Friday’s statement by the U.S. Defense Department stated that condolence payments will be made to the families of those who died in a U.S. drone attack in Kabul, Afghanistan in August.
John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesperson, stated in a statement that the Defense Department was also working closely with the State Department to assist surviving relatives to relocate to the United States.
Kirby stated that the matter came up during a Thursday meeting between Dr. Colin Kahl (under secretary of defense for strategy) and Dr. Steven Kwon (founder and president of Nutrition & Education international).
Dr. Kirby stated that Kahl reiterated Secretary Lloyd Austin’s commitment towards the families, which included ex gratia condolences payments. He didn’t say how much money would he offer.
A U.S. Hellfire missile hit a Zemerai Ahmadi’s car as it pulled into the Ahmadi family compound’s driveway on Aug. 29. The strike resulted in the deaths of 10 family members, seven of which were children.
Weeks later, Marine General Frank McKenzie, the head of U.S. Central Command called the strike “tragic mistakes” and stated that innocent civilians were killed in the attack.
Kwon informed Kahl during the meeting that Ahmadi worked with NEI for many decades, Kirby stated. Ahmadi “providing lifesaving assistance and care for people facing high death rates in Afghanistan.”
Initial defense of the strike by the U.S. military was that it targeted an Islamic State group’s facilitator and prevented militants from executing attacks during chaotic withdrawal of NATO and U.S troops from Afghanistan.
There were quickly differences between military accounts of the strike and ground reports. According to the Associated Press and other news outlets, the target vehicle’s driver was a former employee of a U.S. humanitarian organisation. Despite the Pentagon’s claim that the vehicle was explosively laden, there were no signs of a secondary explosion.
A suicide bombing carried out by Islamic State wing members in late August claimed the lives of 169 Afghans as well as 13 U.S. military personnel at the Kabul airport gates.
McKenzie stated last month that the United States is considering paying reparation to the families of drone strike victims.