January 11, 2018
PENTAGON — U.S. military commanders are investigating a video that appears to show an American service member firing into the cab of a civilian truck in Afghanistan, an action one U.S. official told VOA appeared to be “deeply troubling.”
“There is an investigation underway,” Resolute Support spokesman Army Lt. Col. Kone Faulkner told VOA, adding the U.S. military started the investigation as soon as the U.S. news outlet Politico informed them of the video.
VOA has not seen the video that was uploaded anonymously to YouTube under the title “Happy Few Ordnance Symphony” and then quickly removed. But U.S. officials who have seen the video described it to VOA as a gun shooting montage with a Mk 19 grenade launcher shooting into a tree line in what appears to be Afghanistan.
The montage also includes what appears to be a U.S. military vehicle passing a small-cab dump truck, commonly referred to as a “jingle truck,” before firing into the side of the truck.
A driver is clearly visible in the truck before the gunshots shatter the window of the vehicle. A U.S. official says the status of the driver is unknown at this time and is being investigated.
“I can assure you that this video does not represent the professionalism or humanity of the men and women of U.S. Central Command,” U.S. Army Gen. Joseph Votel, the head of U.S. Central Command, said. “We reject the unprofessional and callous message this video conveys.”
Pentagon spokesman Air Force Lt. Col. Mike Andrews told VOA that “it’s important to wait until we have more context and understanding of this video, and the investigation will provide that.”
Andrews said protecting civilians remains the U.S. military’s “top priority” in Afghanistan.
In a statement, U.S. Central Command added that the video was a cause of “serious concern” and was neither official nor authorized.