Thursday, July 21, 2016

Botched US bombing raid in Syria kills up to 85 civilians including 11 children. US political class agrees to sell $800 million more bombs to UAE-Express UK, Reuters

7/20/16 "US bombing raid kills 85 Syrian civilians after they were mistaken for ISIS fighters," Express UK, Tom Batchelor

"SCORES of Syrian civilians have been killed in a botched US air strike targeting suspected Islamic State militants."

"The bombing raid on Tuesday by American jets went disastrously wrong when they apparently mistook the innocent group for jihadi fighters.

Up to 85 died including eight families who were killed as they attempted to flee fighting in the Manbij area of northern Syria, which has been the focus of intense fighting as territory controlled by ISIS is carved up.

It is thought to be one of the deadliest strikes by US forces on civilians in the Syrian conflict.
The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed the strikes appeared to have been carried out in error, adding that the dead included 11 children as well as dozens more people who were wounded.

The US-backed Syria Democratic Forces (SDF), made up of Kurdish and Arab fighters, launched an offensive at the end of May to seize the besieged city of Manbij - the last territory held by ISIS on Syria's border with Turkey.

The area is a key supply route for foreign fighters seeking to join ISIS as well as the illicit sale of weapons and fuel, which are believed to go back-and-forth across the border.

On Monday, 21 people were killed in raids also believed to have been conducted by US-led coalition aircraft.

The Observatory said at least 104 civilians have died from air strikes since the start of the Manbij offensive.

Amnesty International has called on the US to do more to prevent civilian deaths.

The tragic loss of civilian life in Syria will cause a major headache for the Pentagon, which is seeking to win the “hearts and minds” of the population as well as securing a military victory over the terror group."...

[Ed. note: "The Pentagon seeking to win hearts and minds?" Are you kidding? After 15 years of so-called wars in the Middle East with more to come, it's obvious no one in "the Pentagon" or elsewhere at the public trough gives a damn about anyone's "hearts and minds." These "wars" have only impoverished Americans, enriched organized crime (including political cronies), destroyed Christianity, made the world safe for Islamist savages, and killed and maimed people. There has never been the slightest reason for the US to be in that area. It obviously wasn't about "oil" because we never took a drop of it, other countries have been given oil contracts. The only "US interest" was an interest in destroying the US economy and impoverishing US citizens.]

(continuing): "American defence officials yesterday confirmed the sale of $785 million (£596 million) in bombs to the United Arab Emirates by the US for their campaign against ISIS in Syria and Iraq.

The proposed sale includes 14,640 bombs and guidance kits, along with other munitions."


Reuters version of above via NY Times says it was 56 not 85 but still includes 11 children, and US is "looking into" reports. If the ground operation is being led by the Kurds, this can't be helping them:

7/19/16, "Dozens of Civilians Reported Dead in U.S.-Led Syria Airstrike," Reuters, via NY Times

"At least 56 civilians were reported killed on Tuesday in airstrikes north of the besieged Islamic State-held city of Manbij in northern Syria, and residents said they believed the attack was carried out by aircraft from the United States-led coalition, a monitoring group said.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that the dead included 11 children, and that dozens more people were wounded....

Col. Chris Garver, a spokesman for the United States-led coalition fighting the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, said it was looking into reports of civilian deaths. He said the military was being “extraordinarily careful to make sure” that airstrikes were selectively hitting fighters for the militant group. The coalition said it had conducted more than 450 strikes in the vicinity of Manbij....

In April, the United States Central Command said that from Sept. 10, 2015, to and Feb. 2, 2016, coalition airstrikes in Iraq and Syria probably killed 20 civilians and injured 11 others."...


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