- US Military Clears Itself of Blame in Syria Strike That Killed ‘Piles’ of Women and Children
by BRETT WILKINS, https://www.commondreams.org/
“It’s the standard government line: Mistakes were made but there was no wrongdoing. But if the same mistakes were being made over and over again for years, shouldn’t someone have done something about it?”
No U.S. personnel will be held accountable for a March 2019 airstrike that killed scores of Syrian civilians including women and children, the Pentagon said Tuesday in announcing that an internal investigation into the massacre found that no laws of war were broken and that there was no cover-up of the incident as alleged in a New York Times exposé.
An executive summary of a classified investigation led by U.S. Army Gen. Michael Garrett stated that “no rules of engagement (ROE) or law of war (LOW) violations occurred” in connection with the March 18, 2019 strike near the Syrian town of Baghuz that, according to an initial battle assessment, killed around 70 people.
While finding that “policy compliance deficiencies at multiple levels of command led directly to numerous delays in reporting” the civilian casualties, and that “administrative deficiencies contributed to the impression” that the Pentagon did not take the incident seriously, the probe concluded there was “no malicious or wrongful intent” by the military, and that there was “no evidence” to support allegations of a cover-up.
However, a former evaluator in the Defense Department inspector general’s office who attempted to investigate the Baghuz strike said he personally witnessed Pentagon brass trying to bury reports of the bombing.
“It’s the standard government line: Mistakes were made but there was no wrongdoing,” Eugene Tate told the Times in response to Garrett’s summary. “But if the same mistakes were being made over and over again for years, shouldn’t someone have done something about it? It doesn’t sit well with me, and I’m not sure it should sit well with anyone else.”
As Airwars we submitted evidence to General Garrett's review into allegations of a massacre of civilians by a US airstrike in Baghuz, Syria
We are deeply concerned by the Executive Summary and request more information on why the allegations were rejectedhttps://t.co/l81Ovuv171
— Airwars (@airwars) May 18, 2022
As in the botched Kabul strike — and more than 1,300 reviews of civilian casualty claims — the Pentagon found no wrongdoing in its investigation of a 2019 airstrike in Baghuz, Syria in 2019 that killed dozens.
It also concluded most of those killed were not civilians. https://t.co/wWCTiyXXot
— Azmat Khan (@AzmatZahra) May 17, 2022