“While the US talked about ‘democracy’ and ‘human rights’ at the ‘Summit for Democracy’, the innocent Afghan people who were gunned down by the US military were brushed aside and their families had no place to complain about their grievances,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told reporters in Beijing on Tuesday.
Wang added that it was even more outrageous that the US had refused to punish the perpetrators. He was responding to a question about the Pentagon’s decision not to discipline anyone involved in the August 29 drone strike on Kabul, which had been launched amid the US’ evacuation from Afghanistan and the Taliban takeover.
“We condemn the brutal military intervention by the US in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria in the name of ‘democracy’ and ‘human rights’. We call on the international community to look into the US military’s war crimes of killing innocent civilians around the world and hold it accountable,” Wang said.
The Pentagon spent weeks insisting the strike had been “righteous” and the military had followed the correct procedures to target a “facilitator” for the terrorist group Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISIS-K), before admitting the killing of charity worker Zemari Ahmadi and a group of children in what it called a “mistake.”
On Monday, US media reported that none of the people involved in the strike would be punished. The Air Force inspector-general who investigated the attack left the decision to demote, counsel or otherwise penalize the perpetrators up to the commanders of Central Command and Special Operations Command.
The two generals declined to recommend any penalties and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin accepted their judgment, the Pentagon officially confirmed later in the day.
Wang also condemned the ongoing US sanctions against Afghanistan, saying that China had been offering support for the country’s reconstruction to the best of its ability, as a “friendly neighbor and sincere friend.”