US Envoy Chalks Up Afghan Death Toll to ‘Unintended Consequences’

Says ceasefire is the real solution to civilian casualties

US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad expressed “regret” for the number of civilians being killed in US and allied attacks in Afghanistan, saying that the US “never target innocents” and attributing the deaths to “unintended consequences.”

The most recent report out of the US showed that the US and its allies are killing more civilians in Afghanistan than the Taliban are, as growing airstrikes are launched, and as the Taliban scales back its use of suicide attacks.

Khalilzad seemed willing to accept that the deaths were not acceptable, though it isn’t at all clear that the US is taking responsibility, or making specific efforts to kill fewer civilians on its own.

Instead, Khalilzad said that the focus should instead be on the peace process, which he is leading. He says that a ceasefire and a lasting peace are the only real solution to the civilian casualties.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of