Senator Rand Paul grilled Secretary of State Anthony Blinken about a US drone strike in Afghanistan that might have killed an aid worker for a US organisation.
The Kentucky Republican’s question came after a The New York Times report on Friday that a drone strike conducted toward the end of the United States’ military operation in Afghanistan may have hit a worker for a US aid group rather than an operative for Isis-K, a wing of the Islamic State in Afghanistan.
“The guy the Biden administration droned, was he an aid worker or an ISIS-K operative,” Mr Paul asked, to which Mr Blinken said the administration is reviewing the attack.
“I can’t speak to that and I can’t speak to that in this setting in any event,” Mr Blinken said.
Mr Paul was a frequent critic of the Obama administration’s use of drone strikes, even conducting an hours-long objection to the administration’s then-nominee for CIA director John Brennan.
“The Obama administration droned hundreds and hundreds of people,” he said. “And the thing is there is blowback to that.”
The senator added that he had seen pictures of children who were also killed in the attack.
“I mean, I don’t know if it’s true but I see these pictures of these beautiful children that were killed in the attack,” he said. “If that’s true and not propaganda, if that’s true, guess what? Maybe you’ve created a hundred or thousands of new potential terrorists from bombing the wrong people.”
The senator then asked why the United States didn’t bomb helicopters and planes it left behind.