During the frantic last days of the US departure from Afghanistan last month, a top general confessed the US committed a "mistake" when it launched a drone attack against suspected ISIS militants in Kabul, killing 10 civilians, including children. According to US Central Command commander General Kenneth McKenzie, the strike was intended to target a suspected IS operation that US intelligence had "reasonable assurance" targeted attacking the Kabul airport.
After an inquiry, McKenzie told reporters, "The strike was a catastrophic error." In a statement, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin expressed regret to the families of that slain. In a statement, Austin stated, "I express my heartfelt sympathies to the surviving family members of those who were slain." He stated, "We apologize, and we will work hard to learn from this terrible error." McKenzie stated that the government was looking at ways to compensate the families of those murdered.
According to the general, US troops monitored a white Toyota for eight hours on August 29 after sighting it at a place in Kabul that intelligence had designated as a location where Islamic State operatives were suspected of planning strikes on the Kabul airport. According to him, intelligence inputs led US soldiers to keep an eye out for a white Toyota Corolla that the gang was reportedly driving. McKenzie explained, "We picked this automobile based on its movement in a known target location of interest to us." "Clearly, our knowledge on this specific white Toyota was incorrect," he added.
According to McKenzie, the drone attack killed ten people, including seven children, none of whom were eventually related to ISIS. Concerns of an assault on the airport in the last days of the chaotic evacuation prompted McKenzie to characterize the US action as a "self-defence strike." On August 26, a suicide bomber from the Islamic State of Khorasan murdered dozens of people at the airport, including 13 US servicemen. Huge crowds gathered outside, eager to get inside and catch one of the country's final evacuation planes. At the time the hit was approved, McKenzie stated no people had been observed in the vicinity.