According to a military review conducted by the United States, soldiers did not break the rules of war or purposefully target civilians during an airstrike in Syria in 2019.
Following a New York Times story alleging a military cover-up of an ISIS assault, a criminal investigation was initiated.
The allegation was denied by the investigator.
The delay in reporting was caused by “many policy compliance problems at different levels,” he said.
A total of 1,417 people have been killed by US-led coalition airstrikes in Iraq and Syria since 2014. However, Airwars, a watchdog organization, estimates that the true number is anywhere between 8,192 and 13,244.
On March 18, 2019, the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces militia coalition launched an airstrike on the eastern Syrian town of Baghuz in an effort to seize the final remaining bastion of the Islamic State group.
According to the Pentagon’s review conducted by General Michael Garrett, the SDF sought air help in response to an IS counterattack.
No civilians were in the hit locations, and the US Ground Force Commander responsible for support authenticated [the IS militants’] hostile and aggressive act/intent, and he authorized supporting aircraft strikes.”
As a consequence, “civilian casualties” were reported by the GFC, which had no idea that people had been in the explosion zone.
At least 70 individuals were killed by airstrikes on a camp housing women, children, Islamic State hostages, and a large number of injured men, according to the New York Times.
A spokesperson for the Pentagon, however, said on Tuesday that 52 enemy fighters – 51 adults and one kid – had been killed, as well as four civilians – one mother and 3 children. More than a dozen individuals were injured, including 11 women and four children.
According to Gen. Garrett’s assessment, the commander relied on data that was not totally correct “by no fault of his own.” There was no purposeful or wanton disregard for human lives or violations of international law when the commander authorized the attacks, according to the report.
It’s important to note, however, that General Petraeus does take issue with the lack of information provided to Congress in connection with a civilian fatality occurrence.
It contributed to a notion that the [Pentagon] wasn’t devoted to openness and wasn’t taking the issue seriously, said US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in a letter. He expressed his disappointment that the original inquiry had been botched.