A helper has been killed in a US drone strike in Afghanistan. Many of his family members and colleagues are still stranded there
Almost a year later, the US government is still working to rectify its latest act– a in which 10 civilians were killed, including seven children.
A US airstrike in the final days of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan was instead targeted for an ISIS-K terroristand members of his family.
After initially calling it a “just strike”.The Pentagon admitted its mistake and promised to relocate members of Ahmadi’s family and employees of the aid organization he worked for.
Since then, the US government has relocated 11 of the 144 people in need of this type of assistance. said Brett Max Kaufman, a senior attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union who represents Ahmadi’s family members and colleagues.
32 of the people remain in Afghanistan, where they are awaiting evacuation.
“That some members of Zemari’s family have begun picking up the pieces of their lives with a fresh start in America is undoubtedly good news. But the bottom line is that the government hasn’t done enough, and many of our customers remain at risk,” Kaufman said in a statement.
Those who are not in Afghanistan or the US are in other locations such as Albania, Doha and Kosovo being processed for resettlement.
The first of the 11 family members to arrive in the US arrived in May and the youngest arrived in July.
“The Department of Defense, in coordination with other U.S. government departments and agencies, continues to take steps to respond to the August 29, 2021 airstrike in Kabul, Afghanistan,” Pentagon acting press secretary Todd Breasseale said in a statement.
“To protect the privacy of family members and ensure their safety, we are unable to provide any further information regarding these efforts at this time.”
The organizations representing Ahmadi’s family have remained silent while the US government worked through the process, but have now decided to speak out in anticipation of the one-year anniversary to let the public know that there are still people living in Afghanistan are danger.
The attack, which killed Ahmadi and members of his family, was the result of information received by the military that suggested an ISIS-K terrorist driving a white Toyota Corolla carried out an attack on Kabul airport planned. Just three days earlier, an ISIS-K terrorist attack outside the13 US soldiers and more than 200 Afghan civilians.
General Kenneth McKenzie, the chief of US forces in the Middle East during the withdrawal from Afghanistan, held a press conference weeks later in which he admitted the attack was a tragic mistake.
In October 2021, the Undersecretary for Defense Policy, Dr. Colin Kahl, a virtual meeting with Dr. Steven Kwon, the founder and president of NEI, who employed Ahmadi.
According to an ad provided by Pentagon spokesman John Kirby at the time, Kahl stated the strike was a mistake and promised condolence payments and support from members of Ahmadi’s family who wanted to be resettled in the United States
In a statement to CBS News on Tuesday, Kwon said, “After months of frustration and lack of progress, many of those affected have been evacuated from Afghanistan. However, I continue to have growing fears for the people – including Zemari’s family members and our NEI colleagues – who are still stuck in Afghanistan with no certainty or timeframe to get out.
Kaufman, the ACLU attorney, said in an interview that the priority was to get the remaining people out of Afghanistan and relocated, after which discussions about condolence payments would continue.