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Kabul drone attack: US advocates decry 'impunity, secrecy'

Al Jazeera

Washington, DC – The United States is sending a "dangerous and misleading message" by failing to hold any US military personnel responsible for a Kabul drone attack that killed 10 civilians, including seven children, human rights advocates have said. Calls for accountability for the deadly bombing on August 29 grew on Tuesday, a day after US media outlets first reported that US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin had accepted a recommendation from top commanders not to punish any members of the military. Rights groups also urged President Joe Biden's administration to do more to help the survivors of the attack in the Afghan capital to relocate to the US. The bombing targeted the car of Zemari Ahmadi, who worked for US-based aid organisation Nutrition and Education International (NEI), killing him and nine of his family members. "I've been beseeching the US government to evacuate directly-impacted family members and NEI employees for months because their security situation is so dire," Steven Kwon, founder and president of NEI, said in a statement.

US officials share details of raid that killed ISIL leader

Al Jazeera

The ISIL (ISIS) leader killed in a United States raid in Syria lived on the third floor of a compound above an "unwitting family" that was not associated with the group, US officials have said. The US military conducted the operation on Wednesday that killed Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi, who officials in Washington say blew himself up, killing members of his own family in a final act of desperation. US officials say the military chose to conduct a raid with troops instead of bombing the compound to minimise harm to the family that lived on the first floor. "It was due to the risk of this unwitting family and other civilians in the area that President [Joe] Biden ordered this air assault operation, placing our own troops at risk to minimise the risk to others. And they succeeded in that mission," a senior administration official told reporters on Wednesday.

U.S. says Kabul drone strike killed 10 civilians -- including children -- in 'tragic mistake'

The Japan Times

Washington – A drone strike in Kabul last month killed as many as 10 civilians, including seven children, the U.S. military said on Friday, apologizing for what it called a "tragic mistake." The Pentagon had said the Aug. 29 strike targeted an Islamic State suicide bomber who posed an imminent threat to U.S.-led troops at the airport as they completed the last stages of their withdrawal from Afghanistan. Even as reports of civilian casualties emerged, the top U.S. general had described the attack as "righteous." The head of U.S. Central Command, Marine Corps Gen. Frank McKenzie, said that at the time he had been confident it averted an imminent threat to the forces at the airport. "Our investigation now concludes that the strike was a tragic mistake," McKenzie told reporters.

Pentagon to review deadly 2019 US bombings in Syria

Al Jazeera

United States Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has ordered a review into US military bombings in Syria in March 2019 that the New York Times recently reported killed dozens of civilians during the battle for the final stronghold of ISIL (ISIS). Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby announced the probe on Monday, saying it would be led by General Michael Garrett, the head of US Army Forces Command. Earlier this month, the US military acknowledged that civilians may have been killed in the bombings in Baghouz, near the Iraqi border in 2019. At the time, the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) were leading the fight on the ground with American air support. "Likely a majority of those killed were also combatants at the time of the strike. However, it is also highly likely that there were additional civilian casualties," Bill Urban, a US military spokesman, said in a statement on November 14.

US will not punish troops for deadly Kabul drone attack

Al Jazeera

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has decided against disciplining any members of the United States military for an August drone attack in Kabul that killed 10 civilians, including seven children, the New York Times and several US news outlets reported. An internal Pentagon review concluded last month that the August 29 bombing in the Afghan capital did not violate the laws of war and was not caused by misconduct or criminal negligence. The New York Times first reported on Austin's decision on Monday, citing an unidentified senior Pentagon official who said the defence secretary had approved a recommendation from two US military commanders not to discipline any personnel involved in the attack. The Washington Post, NBC News, and The Associated Press later confirmed the decision, also citing unidentified US officials. Asked about the investigation during a news briefing on Monday afternoon, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby did not directly confirm the media outlets' reports.