Gen. David Petraeus On Deadly Afghan Bombing

Gen. David Petraeus i i

hide captionGen. David Petraeus, head of the U.S. Central Command.

Chris Hondros/Getty Images
Gen. David Petraeus

Gen. David Petraeus, head of the U.S. Central Command.

Chris Hondros/Getty Images

U.S. Gen. David Petraeus says the military will soon release a video that shows U.S. planes were targeting Taliban fighters in an aerial bombardment earlier this month that killed civilians in Afghanistan.

Petraeus, the commander of all U.S. forces in the region, told NPR's Steve Inskeep, "There is indeed video from a B-1 bomber that very clearly shows bombs hitting individuals who are the Taliban, who are reacting to the movements of the Afghan and coalition forces on the ground."

Afghan officials say that American planes killed more than 100 civilians in the incident May 4. The U.S. says that number was much lower, although Petraeus acknowledges that some civilians were killed.

He says he is sure those targeted were Taliban fighters because of "a combination of intelligence reports, sources — that all comes together — that is then confirmed by this actual video."

But Petraeus cautioned that though U.S. air power is superior and decisive, it can also be destructive, and the U.S runs the risk of losing the hearts and minds of Afghans.

Listen to Morning Edition on Friday for more of the interview with Gen. David Petraeus, including how he wants to use the growing U.S. troop presence in Afghanistan.

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