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Pentagon confirms drone strike killed civilians, including seven children

Initial reports identified targets as terrorists

WASHINGTON, D.C. (KYMA, KECY) - Pentagon officials confirmed Friday an August drone strike that reportedly killed Isis-K fighters, actually killed ten civilians, including seven children. One member of the victims' family says they worked for American organizations and were planning to evacuate to the U.S.

General Frank McKenzie of U.S. Central Command took full responsibility for the strike, and offered his condolences to the family.

"I offer my profound condolences to the family and friends of those who were killed. This strike was taken in earnest belief that it would prevent an imminent threat to our forces and the evacuees in the airport, but it was a mistake, and I offer my sincere apology. As the combatant commander, I am fully responsible for the strike in his tragic outcome," said Gen. McKenzie.

However, the general rejected the idea that the strike was a failure.

"While I agree with it this, this strike certainly did not come up to our standards and I thoroughly regret it. I would not qualify it under those terms," he said. "Let me be clear, this was a self defense, strike, taken under self defense rules of engagement, based on an imminent threat to attack us. That is not the way that we would strike in an over an OTH mission going into Afghanistan against ISIS K targets. For one thing - that will not be a self defense strike, it will be done on a different, it'll be under different rules of engagement."

Gen. McKenzie said this incident should not call the military's accuracy into question.

He also said he was open to the idea of reparations for the family, but said that would not be his decision.

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Lisa Sturgis

Lisa Sturgis returned to KYMA as its Digital Content Director in September of 2019, but she and her family have a long history in the Desert Southwest. Her grandmother first moved to Yuma in the late 1940’s, and Lisa got her first job in TV news at KYMA in 1987.

Reach out to Lisa with story ideas and your digital feedback at lisa.sturgis@kecytv.com.

Jenny Day

You can catch Jenny Day anchoring KYMA News 11 at 5, 6, and 10 p.m. weekdays.

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