In Final Days, US Kills Afghan Children and Civilians

August 31st, 2021 - by Dave DeCamp / & Joe Lauria / Consortium News

US Drone Strike Kills Family, Including Children:
US Claims the Strike Targeted ISIS

Dave DeCamp /

 (August 29, 2021) — A US drone strike in Kabul on Sunday killed nine members of one family, including six children, the brother of one of the victims told a journalist in the city working with CNN.

The US claims the strike destroyed a vehicle carrying “multiple suicide bombers” from Afghanistan’s ISIS affiliate, but witnesses said it hit two cars parked at a residential building. “We are not ISIS or Daesh and this was a family home — where my brothers lived with their families,” the brother said.

The brother said the youngest of the dead was a two-year-old girl. The journalist said family members told him that one of the cars that were hit contained a father and three of his children.

Earlier in the day, Capt. Bill Urban, a spokesperson for US Central Command, confirmed the drone strike and said the US is investigating if there were civilian casualties. “We are confident we successfully hit the target,” he said.

The US drone strike comes a few days after Thursday’s suicide attack claimed by ISIS killed at least 175 people, including 28 Taliban members and 13 US troops. Early Saturday, the US launched a drone strike in Nangahar province that the Pentagon claims killed two “ISIS-K planners.”

President Biden has vowed that airstrikes against ISIS-K would continue, so the US will likely continue to bomb Afghanistan as it wraps up the evacuation and withdrawal. The Pentagon said Saturday that it has begun withdrawing troops, which needs to be completed by the approaching August 31st deadline.

Did ‘Friendly Fire’ Kill Civilians, US Soldiers in Kabul Massacre?

Western Media Downplaying a Possible
Major Development in the Kabul Airport Attack

Joe Lauria / Consortium News

 (August 29, 2021) — It appears in the 29th paragraph of a 39-paragraph New York Times story on Saturday about the aftermath of the suicide bombing at Kabul airport this week that killed more than 180 people, including 13 US military personnel:
“For the first time, Pentagon officials publicly acknowledged the possibility that some people killed outside the airport on Thursday might have been shot by American service members after the suicide bombing. Investigators are looking into whether the gunfire came from Americans at the gate, or from the Islamic State.”

A Pentagon official was asked at a briefing on Saturday about whether US soldiers were involved in shooting at the crowd and he neither confirmed nor denied the story.

The Washington Post has so far made no mention of the possible US shooting. In an article on Saturday on the names of the US troops killed, it merely says the attack is being investigated. It links to a Pentagon press release that contains this single line: “The incident is under investigation.” 

CNN’s only reference so far to shooting at the airport is this: “Speaking Thursday to CNN’s Anderson Cooper, journalist and author Matthieu Aikins said he could hear ‘shooting and sirens’ from the airport less than an hour after the attack.”

A BBC report on Saturday said: “According to one account, one attacker fired into a crowd of people, although reports also said Taliban guards had fired into the air.” There is no reference to possible US involvement in the shooting.  

However, BBC reporter Secunder Kermani in Kabul, in a video report on Friday, interviewed an eyewitness who said he saw US and Turkish military men firing from a tower into the crowd. The text accompanying the video on the BBC site makes no mention of possible US involvement. But Kermani pointed it out in this tweet on his personal account.

According to this unverified video, a man claiming to be an Afghan solider blames the US for shooting at the crowd from above.  He says only 20 people were killed by the bomb and the rest by American bullets. 

If the story of US soldiers firing into the crowd after the suicide bombing is true, it would be a major development that deserves prominent media attention. Western news organizations with reporters on the ground have been publishing highly detailed accounts of events at the airport for days. 

There are survivors of the attack, some of whom surely would have witnessed shooting into the crowd, such as the witness in the BBC report. They have a story to tell. And Western media have a job to do. 

Joe Lauria is editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former UN correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, and numerous other newspapers. He was an investigative reporter for the Sunday Times of London and began his professional work as a stringer for The New York Times. He can be reached at

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