A top general admitted the United States had made a "mistake" when it launched a drone strike against suspected Islamic State militants in Kabul, killing 10 civilians including children instead during the frenzied final days of the US pullout from Afghanistan last month. The strike, a macabre coda to the 20-year US war in Afghanistan, was meant to target a suspected IS operation that US intelligence had "reasonable certainty" aimed to attack the Kabul airport, said US Central Command commander General Kenneth McKenzie.The strike was a tragic mistake," McKenzie told reporters after an investigation. According to McKenzie, none of who ultimately were linked to IS.
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin apologized to the relatives of those killed in a statement. "We apologize, and we will endeavor to learn from this horrible mistake," he said. McKenzie said the government was studying on how payments for damages could be made to the families of those killed. McKenzie defended the US operation as in "self-defense strike" amid concerns about an attack on the airport in the last days of the chaotic evacuation. On August 26 an Islamic State-Khorasan suicide bomber had killed scores at the airport, including 13 US service members. Huge crowds were there clamoring to get inside and on board one of the final evacuation flights out of the country.