Read U.S.Central Command’s Investigation Into Botched Aug. 29, 2021 Kabul Drone Strike
For use of this form, see AR 190-45; the proponent agency is PMG.
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responsible primarily for decon of airspace during strikes. For the 48 hrs leading up to 29AUG, we had multiple credible (b)(3) 50 USC 3024(i) reports detailing the likelihood of vehicles utilized by ISIS-K members plotting attacks on American Forces at HKIA, either in the form of VBIEDs or as portable rocket/mortar firing positions.
From when we got on shift, 0200z 29AUG, we starting monitoring multiple Target Areas of Interest (TAI), located west of Kabul. 2x sedans originated from those TAIs and drove together to the same house, almost 7km south. At this house, we saw them moving multiple (15+) heavy bags from the house to these cars. We watched those vehicles all day and followed them around the city, while they drove erratically through the city, dropping off and picking up people through the Green Zone in Kabul. From the TAI SW of Kabul, they drove back north to our initial TAI. This target vehicle was being shadowed by (b)(1)1.4a, (b)(1)1.4g The vehicle had a confirmed slant of (b)(1)1.4a We planned to shoot into the car from (b)(1)1.4a with (b)(1)1.4a lasing in Lone. The vehicle dropped off one PAX and then drove to the strike site, with a remaining slant of b)(1)1.4a (b)(1)1.4a
USCENTCOM FOIA 21-0518
WANT TO MAKE THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT UNDER OATH:
Based on all intelligence, vehicle description, routes, and point of origination, the Strike Cell was beyond reasonably certain that this vehicle matched the threat we had been tracking. After the vehicle left (b)(1)1.4a and was trending E towards HKIA, TEA received strike approval, expecting an imminent attack. A new intel report stated the target was going to delay the attack until 30AUG and stopped at a house, approximately halfway between (b)(1)1.4a and HKIA. Knowing we would likely lose the target and permit a VBIED attack if we did not take the strike, (b)(1)1.4a set strike posture with a (b)(1)1.4a
We monitored the strike site for several minutes before. The vehicle had pulled into a little courtyard at the house with high walls, so we determined those would stop frag. The road just outside the house had lots of pedestrian traffic, so we made sure that there was (b)(1)1.4a After Rifle, we saw 1x ADM leave the house, but assessed him to be associated. It would have been(b)(1)1.4a Immediately before impact, I saw
additional movement from the house, but did not have time to react. Although not an expert on secondaries, it definitely appeared to have a massive secondary, confirming belief that the vehicle was either a VBIED or carrying rockets or mortars for use against US Forces on HKIA. The walls could have contained some of the blast, but there was still a much longer plume than normal. Additionally, the resulting flames and house burning don’t seem consistent with a vehicle strike, also convincing me that secondaries were present. The secondaries appeared to be much bigger than the strike itself. Post-strike, someone played the feed back and the additional movement I saw appeared to be a child, possibly 2. Eventually I heard through the news that there was an alleged 10x CIVCAS. While that may be true, I would attribute most of that to the secondary. When TEA made the decision to strike, no collateral was seen at the “cleared hot” call.
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DA FORM 2823, NOV 2006
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