For Second Day in a Row, US Airstrikes Kill Afghan Civilians

Helicopter Attacks House in Logar Province

For the second day in a row, US and NATO forces have deliberately attacked civilian houses known to contain civilian bystanders in an attempt to target Taliban fighters. Yesterday’s strike took place in Herat, where warplanes hit a Taliban compound, then targeting a whole neighborhood because the Taliban fighters scattered and they figured they were in some of those homes. 16 civilians were among the slain.

Today’s attack was further east, in Logar, where a US helicopter had decided Taliban fighters had taken shelter inside a civilian house, and fired missiles into it. 11 civilians were slain in the attack, which NATO promised to look into. There was no report of Taliban casualties, despite the pretext for the attack.

Even stranger was the narrative from Afghan officials, who claimed that the owner of the house “begged the Taliban to leave, but they didn’t.” This was meant as his explanation for civilian deaths, but how he could’ve possibly known that is uncertain, since apparently all civilians within died.

The Taliban issued a separate statement on the Logar incident, claiming to have shot down the US helicopter after the incident. The US denied that this was true, and said the helicopter made a “precautionary landing” for maintenance after destroying the house.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.