- Payment offers were made by Defense Department officials on Thursday.
- The Pentagon mistakenly believed one of the civilians killed by the drone was an ISIS-K militant.
- Ten Afghan civilians, including seven children, were killed in the strike.
The US offered payments this week to the family of the 10 Afghan civilians, including seven children, who were killed in error by a US drone strike on August 29.
The Pentagon announced the payments in statement on Friday night but did not say how much was offered, The New York Times reported. The statement also said the US would help the surviving family members relocate to the US if they are interested.
Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby told The Associated Press the offers were made Thursday during a meeting with the aid organization that employed Zemari Ahmadi, the driver who the Pentagon mistakenly believed was an ISIS-K member and whose car was struck by the drone.
“Dr. Kahl reiterated Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s commitment to the families, including offering ex gratia condolence payments,” Kirby told AP.
The US military believed Ahmadi was an ISIS-K militant filling his car with boxes of explosives, but he was actually loading water containers, footage obtained by The Times showed. US Gen. Mark Milley, head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, initially called the attack a “righteous strike.”
Weeks later, the US acknowledged that the strike had killed civilians, including Ahmadi and his family. But Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, head of of US Central Command, said that the military learned the casualties were civilian within hours of the strike.