Some Bulgarian workers were quietly working in a shed producing sunflower oil when the building was attacked by the US military. In a chapter reminiscent of what happened in Italy when a chicken was shot at a chicken coop in March, the soldiers were training and misusing one of their targets.
The factual report came from factory owner Marin Dimitrov, who decided to sue those responsible for the May 11 crash. “No guns were fired during the operation,” Bulgarian President Ruman Radhev assured the US military, defining “absolutely unacceptable.” The U.S. embassy in Bulgaria apologizes to the agency and its staff for their role. “We are always learning from these exercises and are fully investigating the cause of this error,” he said. The embassy explained in a statement: “We will clearly define our training areas and implement strict procedures to prevent such incidents in the future.”
The incident took place during Operation Swift Response 2021, which took place in Estonia, Bulgaria and Romania under the leadership of the US military, and involved more than 7,000 paratroopers from 10 NATO countries. During the exercise, members of the 173rd Air Force, usually based in Italy, captured and defended the unused Chechnya Kirov air base in southern Bulgaria, removing bunkers and other structures. During training on May 11, American soldiers entered and cleaned a building near the airport, which they thought was part of a training area, but it turned out that the Bulgarian citizens were running a private business.