2019 Syrian airstrike that killed civilians to be investigated by Pentagon


Syria SyriaThe Pentagon has ordered fresh investigation into 2019 Syrian airstrike that had killed dozens of people, including women and children. The investigation orders come at a time when US operations are into last days in the country against IS (Islamic State).

The probe will be headed by Army Gen. Michael X. Garrett, the commander of U.S. Army Forces Command, under orders of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. The investigation is to determine whether the airstrikes were in compliance with the war laws and if any entity must be held accountable for the lives lost. As told by Pentagon spokesman John F. Kirby, the findings of investigation are due in 90 days. Kirby said that General Garrett has been chosen to lead the probe he was not involved in the Syria strike, “so there can be a dispassionate review of the information.”

Just two weeks before Pentagon for the first time had acknowledged the details of airstrike that was conducted on March 18, 2019. This strike was a part of the series of attacks on Baghouz, a town that is under strong hold of Islamic State and is along the Syrian border with Iraq. This acknowledgement by Pentagon was after a recent report published by The New York Times about the strike. In the NYT investigation it was revealed by former military investigators about the different aspects of the airstrike.

The investigation ordered by Pentagon is second high profile probe in recent weeks around military conducted airstrike. Earlier in November, probe was ordered into a strike in Kabul conducted on August 29, that is defended by military officials as attack on “presumed” Islamic State – Khorasan targets. It was later acknowledged that strike had killed 10 civilians, including an aid worker and 7 children.

According to Navy Capt. Bill Urban, spokesman for Central Command, the strike was ordered by United States on request from allied Syrian forces. Furthermore, the strike was ordered after on ground US troops confirmed no civilian sighting. The strike had resulted in killing of at least 16 militants and four civilians. But Urban said that there were 60 more deaths that the US military “conclusively characterize,” he said, including “multiple armed women” and “at least one” armed child.



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