The political fallout from the August 29 U.S. drone strike in Afghanistan that accidentally killed 10 of the wrong people continues to spread, this time bringing in the family of one of the victims.
Emal Ahmadi lost ten family members on that day, including his 3-year-old-daughter, Malika. The drone strike was initially touted by the Pentagon as having killed terrorists associated with ISIS-K, the rival terrorist group to the ruling Taliban which swept into power in the wake of the disastrous U.S. withdrawal last month.
Ahmadi was interviewed by Fox News and says he is glad his family was proven innocent, but complained that nobody from the U.S. bothered to call to apologize. Ahmadi stated that “I am so confused. I am so sad.” He also said that he wanted the U.S. to punish those responsible for the bad intel that led to the strike. In addition, Ahmadi felt that the U.S. needs to pay compensation for the dead.
Ahmadi’s brother, Romal, lost all 3 of his children in the strike and was also interviewed by Fox News.
“I ran to the car to take my nephew. And then my wife called to me to take my other nephew. Then I saw that the car was burning, and I ran to pull out my daughter. She was totally burned. Everyone was burned,” he recounted.
Both parents told Fox News that they wanted to let the world know that “they were innocent.”
(Video: Fox News)
Zemari Ahmadi, brother of Emal Ahmadi, was the target of the drone strike. While initial press releases from the Pentagon had stated Zemari was an ISIS-K terrorist, it later came out that he was a longtime worker for a U.S. aid group, in a bombshell report dropped by The New York Times.
The “explosives” that were observed being loaded into Zemari Ahmadi’s car turned out to be water canisters, and the whole affair has become a humiliating PR nightmare for the Pentagon and the Biden administration in general, which has received plenty of flak for its handling of the situation.
President Biden himself was on vacation when the news dropped, which further fueled criticism of him as an absentee leader. News anchors like Fox News’ Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson have been particularly vocal, ripping into Biden for being “senile and totally incompetent,” and that “at this hour, Biden is not working around the clock to secure their release, he is not at a command center working on a solution. Instead, he’s enjoying another long weekend off in Delaware.”
Even the New York Times, hardly a bastion of conservative criticism towards Democrats, offered some rare criticism to go with its report: “Almost everything senior defense officials asserted in the hours, and then days, and then weeks after the Aug. 29 drone strike turned out to be false.”
“Experts who examined photos and videos pointed out that, although there was clear evidence of a missile strike and subsequent vehicle fire, there were no collapsed or blown-out walls, no destroyed vegetation, and only one dent in the entrance gate, indicating a single shock wave,” the Times reported, in contradiction to the idea that explosives were in the car (which would have caused secondary explosions).
The incident will likely continue to be a source of embarrassment for the Pentagon, Biden, and the U.S. in general, as the criticism continues to roll in.
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