MOSCOW (Sputnik), Tommy Yang – After serving almost 10 years in the Afghan army and fighting alongside the US special forces, Naser Nejrabi, 29, decided to come to Kabul from Kandahar three days before the Taliban* took over the Afghan capital.
Similar to thousands of Afghans who risked their lives trying to catch an evacuation flight out of the country, Naser thought he would have a chance for a brighter future in the United States after serving the American military campaign in the country for so many years.
Unfortunately, Naser’s dreams of moving to the US and building a new life with his fiancée came to an abrupt and tragic end on 29 August, when an American airstrike hit a car in his courtyard killing him and at least nine other civilians including children.
“I was praying at home when I heard the news. I can’t believe it’s true. How could they kill them?” Naser’s younger brother Nasir Nejrabi told Sputnik in an interview.
Nasir said he learned the devastating news of his brother’s death on 29 August when his aunt called him.
“My brother had arrived in Kabul three days before the city was taken over by the Taliban, and was staying at the uncle’s place,” Nasir said.
According to Nasir, his brother was with his family in the courtyard when the US airstrike hit a car, killing at least eight children and two young people, including Naser.
“Four children were in the car, the others were outside. Those, who died, were my uncle’s children,” Nasir said.
PLANNED TO GET MARRIED ON FRIDAY
The US military said the airstrike against a vehicle in Kabul on 29 August was necessary to eliminate an imminent threat from the Daesh-K* terrorist group to Hamid Karzai International Airport.
The Daesh-K* group is believed to be behind the bombings at the Kabul airport on 26 August that killed over 170 civilians and 13 US service members.
“We are confident we successfully hit the target. Significant secondary explosions from the vehicle indicated the presence of a substantial amount of explosive material,” Capt. Bill Urban, US Central Command spokesman, said in a statement.
Urban acknowledged the possibility of civilian casualties as a result of the airstrike in a subsequent statement.
“We are aware of reports of civilian casualties following our strike on a vehicle in Kabul today,” Urban said, adding “We would be deeply saddened by any potential loss of innocent life.”
For the US military, Naser and other civilians, including children, killed during the airstrike may just be collateral damage in the longest war in American history. But for Naser and his family members, the airstrike crushed all their dreams and turned their lives upside down.
“The last time we spoke was the night before it [the airstrike] happened. We talked about marriage, he wanted to get married. As he was going to move to the US, he asked me for money for the wedding. I got some money to send him, but his dream never came true,” Nasir said.
According to Nasir, his brother — who is survived by his fiancée — planned to get married this Friday because he hoped that he could bring his future wife to America once he receives approval for his application for a US special immigrant visa.
Nasir added that his brother had already filed an application for the special immigrant visa and was awaiting approval.
“My brother served for some 10 years in the army and also used to work with the US Special Forces. Our house is situated in the city of Herat, and my brother served in Kandahar, he was in Kabul to settle issues on his moving to the US,” he said.
HATRED AGAINST US
Tragically, Naser’s dreams and plans came to a shocking end when he was killed in an airstrike carried out by a country he had dreamed of moving to. The devastating news has triggered strong emotions from his family members.
“Please tell the world that the United States is criminal, wild and wicked. I wish Allah destroy them soon,” Nasir said, when expressing anger over his older brother’s death.
Despite the US military arguing that their airstrike eliminated an imminent terror threat, Nasir could never understand how can the death of innocent civilians be justified.
“It is a clear crime. How could the children aged 2-18 be Daesh members? The US was defeated in Afghanistan, both in war and politically. Now they target innocent people. Where are the human rights activists to hold the bloodthirsty killers accountable?” he asked.
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said that the country completed its military evacuation of civilians and removal of all American forces from Afghanistan on 30 August.
“Now, the end of this operation also signals the end of America’s longest war. We lost 2,461 troops in that war, and tens of thousands of others suffered wounds, seen and unseen. The scars of combat don’t heal easily, and often never heal at all,” Austin said in a statement.
But for Afghan civilians like Naser, who lost their lives during this war, and their family members, the wounds left by the United States may never heal.