Gen. Kenneth McKenzie: Kabul Drone Strike Killing 3 Adults, 7 Children ‘a Tragic Mistake’

‘It’s my assessment that leaders on the ground and the strike cell had achieved a reasonable certainty at time of the strike to designate the vehicle as an imminent threat’

EXCERPT:

MCKENZIE: “It is further my assessment that the strike team were convinced at the time of the strike that the area was clear of civilians and that they had taken prudent steps in regards to weaponeering the strike to minimize the potential for civilian casualties. Finally, it is my assessment that they did believe, as reported, that there was a secondary explosion. Our investigation now concludes that the strike was a tragic mistake. First, I will stress this was not a rushed strike. The strike cell deliberately followed and observed this vehicle and its occupants for eight hours while cross-checking what they were seeing, all available intelligence to develop a reasonable certainty of the imminent threat that this vehicle posed to our forces. Second, while the initial reports indicated a secondary explosion, the initial investigation could only conclude that it was a possible to probable presence of external accelerants that could include either explosive material in the vehicle or an ignition of the gas tank of the vehicle. Subsequent analysis could not rule out the presence of a small amount of explosive material but determined that the most likely cause was ignition of gas from a propane tank located immediately behind the car.”

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