3 years, 11 months ago
For those who haven’t followed events in the Kunar Province of Afghanistan, as reported at the end of December, approximately nine people were killed in the Kunar Province during a raid by U.S. forces.
Nine people killed in a military action targeting militants in eastern Afghanistan apparently were members of an insurgent network, a U.S. military official told CNN on Tuesday.
“The operation was against a network of folks, who had been tracked for a while, involved in producing IEDs as well as some criminal activity,” said the official, who asked not to be named.
“As a result of the action, the best info that we have is that nine of those militants in that network were killed. That’s based on weapons and IED components at the scene,” and it appears the nine were males, the official said.
The narrative quickly turned ugly, from the U.S. forces killing students execution style, to small children being taken from their bed in the middle of the night, handcuffed, and executed. U.S. Special Forces have in fact been called swine for this behavior. The fact that the narrative has contradicted itself (it wasn’t children at all who died, but children who witnessed their fathers being killed) isn’t important for critics who listen too carefully to Taliban propaganda.
Spencer Ackerman has worked himself into a lather over these events. “What we do know is that eight adolescent and teenage boys died horrifically nine days ago. Regardless of the circumstances, this is a tragedy; depending on the circumstances, it’s possibly also a war crime.”
War crimes. It is not so frequent an occurrence that Spencer Ackerman and I agree, but in this case, I too and deeply and profoundly concerned about events in the Kunar Province. You might recall that four Marines died approximately four months ago as a result of a fire fight in which they twice requested air and artillery support, only to be twice denied that support because noncombatants might be involved.
The ISAF weighed in almost immediately and said that the McClatchy report about being denied air and indirect fire support was false. I have a reliable report that indicates to me that the ISAF report is false and the McClatchy report true. The Marines were denied air and artillery support and died as a result of that lack of support.
I have watched this issue closely for these four months, and have yet to see any indication of the release of an official report on this event. If the McClatchy report is false, it should be easy to show. On the other hand, if the CENTCOM and the ISAF have something to hide in this incident, I would expect them to behave exactly like they have. Tell us nothing.
In the mean time, both Spencer Ackerman and I are profoundly concerned about ROE issues in the Kunar Province – just for very different events. And I am still watching and waiting.