'Devastating': Sen. Rand Paul Fumes Over NYT Report Saying US 'Erroneously' Killed Afghan Civilian
11:42 GMT 11.09.2021 (Updated: 13:31 GMT 11.09.2021)
A bombshell report by the New York Times has raised new doubts about the soundness of the Kabul airstrike carried out by the US military on 29 August, which Washington said was targeting a suspected Daesh* terrorist. The report said that the strike had actually killed not three but 10 civilians, including seven children.
US Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) reacted to a New York Times report which claimed that an Afghan man who worked for Americans was erroneously killed in a retaliatory US airstrike after the Kabul airport attack.
Speaking to Fox News’ "The Ingraham Angle" on Friday, the Republican senator said that the report had brought to light “another sad instance of just the most incompetent withdrawal we’ve ever seen in our history” if proven right.
“But, yeah, we’ll await the facts as they come forward. … In the end, if we made a mistake in it, that’ll be one more disastrous fact after another,” Paul raged.
“I hope it’s not true. If it is true, that’s devastating.”
Who Was the Man Killed in the Strike?
The Pentagon claimed that the 29 August airstrike had destroyed an explosive-laden vehicle that was destined for Kabul airport, just few days after a terrorist attack in the area had killed over a hundred civilians and 13 US service members. The airport attack was claimed by Daesh-K* terrorists and the US pledged to respond.
The US military said following the retaliatory airstrike that it had killed two “high-level” Daesh-K militants but admitted that three civilians may have suffered as well. According to the Pentagon, the secondary blasts that followed the strike indicated “a substantial amount of explosive material” present in the targeted vehicle.
However, the New York Times has examined the video evidence and accounts of eyewitnesses to question the US version of events. The report revealed that the driver of the vehicle in question, Zemari Ahmadi, was a longtime staffer of a US aid agency who was just carrying out his work duties on that day.
“What has been interpreted as suspicious moves of the terrorist may have been just an average day of his life,” the report indicated.
Seven children and two more adults were killed alongside Ahmadi near his house, including his own kids, nephews and a cousin, as they went out to greet him on the way home. Experts who examined the photos argued that there was no evidence to suggest that a second explosion followed the strike, raising questions around the conclusions of the US intelligence and the official narrative put forward by the White House.
The report has just added more fuel to the fire set by critics of the Biden administration’s chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan, which was completed last month.
*Daesh (also known as ISIS/IS) and Daesh-K are terrorist groups banned in Russia and many other countries.