• Press Release

US drone strike in Afghanistan admission a positive first step, but full investigation and accountability now needed

September 17, 2021

Yellow and white graphic with the Amnesty international logo on the bottom left and the word
Responding to the United States military’s admission that it killed 10 people, including seven children, in a drone strike in Kabul on August 29, Amnesty International issued the following statement:

Brian Castner, Senior Crisis Advisor with Amnesty International’s Crisis Response Programme, said: “This admission is an important step towards accountability for the killings in Kabul, but much more remains to be done.

“The US must now commit to a full, transparent, and impartial investigation into this incident. Anyone suspected of criminal responsibility should be prosecuted in a fair trial. Survivors and families of the victims should be kept informed of the progress of the investigation and be given full reparation.

“It should be noted that the US military was only forced to admit to its failure in this strike because of the current global scrutiny on Afghanistan. Many similar strikes in Syria, Iraq, and Somalia have happened out of the spotlight, and the US continues to deny responsibility while devastated families suffer in silence.

“The US must ensure that it ends unlawful strikes, consistently and thoroughly investigates all allegations of civilians harmed in attacks, and publicly discloses its findings.”

Daphne Eviatar, the director of the Security With Human Rights program at Amnesty International USA said:

“The Biden administration must not repeat the violations of previous administrations and must now prioritize civilian protection. President Biden should show real concern for civilians by taking more meaningful steps to prevent civilian casualties as a result of all US lethal operations, as well as to investigate and assist those harmed.

“Communities from Afghanistan to Syria must no longer be left to fend for themselves in the wake of devastating US airstrikes. Following international law is not an option for US Presidents, it must be the norm.”


On August 29, 2021, a drone strike by the US military killed 10 civilians, including seven children, in a residential neighborhood in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Amnesty International is calling for full reparations for the relatives of those killed in the strike, as well as remedy for decades of civilian casualties as a result of US military operations – including compensation, restitution and rehabilitation.

Amnesty International is also calling on the US authorities to abide by international law in its future military conduct, not least as the President Biden administration is reportedly examining a policy on possible airstrikes outside of armed conflict.

Contact: Mariya Parodi, [email protected]