U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Brinken said on Tuesday that he does not know at this stage whether a U.S. drone attack in Kabul, Afghanistan last month killed a suspected member of the ISIS-K terrorist organization, or an Afghan aid worker and his family.
“The person that the Biden administration is clamoring, is he an aid worker or an ISIS-K agent?” Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) told Brinken at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing about the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan Ask a question.
The Kentucky senator was referring to a report in the New York Times that the drone mistakenly hit Zemari Ahmadi, a 43-year-old worker at the California-based aid organization Nutrition and Education International.
Brinken replied: “Of course, the government is reviewing that strike. I am sure that a full evaluation will be carried out soon.”
“So you don’t know if this is an aid worker or an ISIS-K agent?” Paul asked.
“I don’t know because we are reviewing it,” Brinken replied.
Previously, the Central Command (CENTCOM) spokesperson, Captain Bill Urban, confirmed on August 29, the day after the airstrike, that the United States was investigating reports of civilian casualties.
Urban said at the time that although the U.S.-led anti-terrorism drone attack undermined the imminent ISIS-K threat to Kabul International Airport, “we will be deeply saddened by any potential loss of innocent lives.”
The Pentagon said in a statement earlier that the drone attack killed two “high-profile” members of the Islamic State-K terrorist organization and wounded another.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said in a statement on Tuesday that the department was “very hard” to avoid civilian casualties, adding, “We will be deeply saddened by the loss of any innocent life.”
Paul added on Tuesday: “You would think that before you leave someone with a Predator drone, you would know whether he is an aid worker or an ISIS-K agent,” Paul further explored Brinken on this issue. .
The drone attack on August 28 occurred shortly after the attack on Kabul International Airport, which killed 13 American soldiers and more than 100 Afghans. ISIS-K, an ISIS affiliate, claimed responsibility for the August 26 attack, boasting that a suicide bomber “managed to penetrate all security fortifications set up by the US military and the Taliban terrorist organization.”
Founded in 2015, ISIS-K is a mortal enemy of the Taliban and the United States. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said that the terrorist organization is investigating the attack.
The United States also does not rule out the possibility of the Taliban participating in the attack on Kabul Airport. Kirby said on August 27 that US officials were not sure whether the Taliban were involved.
This News Originally From – The Epoch Times