US Airstrike Wipes Out Afghan Army Post, Killing Six

Pentagon says attack was self-defense, and Afghan soldiers attacked a convoy

The Afghan military is already losing bases left and right to Taliban offensives, and on Wednesday lost another army post, this time in Uruzgan, where US warplanes attacked and destroyed an army post, which Pentagon officials described as a checkpoint.

Somewhere in the vicinity of this post, a joint convoy of US troops and Afghan Special Forces was attacked by another unit of Afghan ground troops. The US responded with what they called a “self-defense airstrike” on the post, destroying it, and killing at least six soldiers, wounding nine others.

The Afghan Defense Ministry had claimed that the unit that mistakenly attacked the convoy was distinct from the post, and the US attacked the post because it was the nearest target. The Pentagon claimed the convoy was attacked at the checkpoint itself.

A top Uruzgan MP told an entirely different story, suggesting that the US convoy was patrolling near the provincial capital when they believed they heard gunfire coming from the post, and responded by attacking the post, sparking a firefight and then calling in the airstrikes.

Provincial officials say it’s still not sure who fired the first shot, but that indications are that both sides thought they were fighting the Taliban and not one another. That the US troops were in US uniforms was no guarantee, after all the Taliban routinely steals such uniforms and uses them in attacks.

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.