- ‘Stomach-Wrenching’ Report Reveals Secret US Strike Command’s High Civilian Death Toll
by BRETT WILKINS, https://www.commondreams.org/
The unit, called Talon Anvil, is said to have killed Syrian civilians at 10 times the rate of similar airstrikes elsewhere in the so-called War on Terror.
Peace advocates on Monday responded to a report about a U.S. military unit that killed Syrian civilians at 10 times the rate of similar operations in other theaters of the so-called War on Terror by accusing the United States of hypocritically sanctioning countries while committing atrocities of its own, and by reminding people that there is no such thing as a “humane” war.
On Sunday, The New York Times reported the existence of Talon Anvil, a “shadowy force” that “sidestepped safeguards and repeatedly killed civilians” in aerial bombardments targeting militants in Syria. The unit “worked in three shifts around the clock between 2014 and 2019, pinpointing targets for the United States’ formidable air power to hit: convoys, car bombs, command centers, and squads of enemy fighters.”
“But people who worked with the strike cell say in the rush to destroy enemies, it circumvented rules imposed to protect noncombatants, and alarmed its partners in the military and the CIA by killing people who had no role in the conflict,” the paper reported, including “farmers trying to harvest, children in the street, families fleeing fighting, and villagers sheltering in buildings.”
Medea Benjamin, co-founder of the peace group CodePink, told Common Dreams Monday that “it is stomach-wrenching to read how secret U.S. teams in Syria run by low-level officers made life-and-death decisions about when and where to drop 500-pound bombs.”