Four years after the deadly Baghuz strike, the US military still evades from taking responsibility.
An American predator drone hovered high above the Syrian skies in final days of the struggle against ISIS, seeking targets. However, all it could observe and report were a swarm of civilian along the river.
Then followed a US F-15E strike fighter which rushed through the drone’s range of vision without notice. It threw a 500lb bomb into the throng, gobbling it up in a sickening explosion. the few survivors staggered away as the dust and smoke had settled, looking for protection. A 2,000lb bomb followed the first and another came in minutes, slaying the majority of the survivors.
It was on a gloomy Monday in March 18, three years ago. US Troops watching online aerial shots inside the military’s operations room in Qatar were nothing but astonishment.
The Baghuz attack was one of the deadliest episodes in the US deadly campaign against ISIS in terms of civilian casualties. However, the American military has never officially confirmed the strike.
Evidences show that US Military personnel were nearly instantly aware of the number of casualties. The strike was infamous by a legal official as a probable war crime that required an independent probe. The army, on the other hand, made practically every maneuver possible to hide the devastating hit.
An investigation was launched by the Defense Agency’s impartial inspector general. However, the paper describing the results was subject to a halt, and all reference to the strike was removed. “Leadership just seemed so set on burying this. No one wanted anything to do with it,” an American analyst says about US military’s curious response.
Baghuz strike is an ambiguous part of war in Syria and all move for investigations are still in early steps.
Baghuz Strike: Details
The New York Times put together specifics of the attacks over months using sensitive papers and accounts of classified briefings. The attack occurred on the order of a secret American special operations team, according to the inquiry.
The unit, dubbed “Task Force 9,” was in command of combat operations on soil in Syrian campaign. The task force worked in so much a privacy that did not even involve or inform its own military allies about its activities. The US Air Force headquarters in Qatar was provided with no information concerning the strikes in Baghuz.
A startled Air Force military commander in the operations room summoned an military lawyer to reviewing the legitimacy of attacks moments after the assault. The F-15E unit and the drone crew were instructed to keep all footage and other documentation by the lawyer.
The lawyer rushed up and informed his chain of command about the hit, stating that it was a potential war crime. As a result, rules necessitated a comprehensive, impartial inquiry. No such investigations have ever realized since four years ago.
According to the United States Central Command, the strikes claimed 80 lives, but asserted that the bombings were justifiable. The explosives killed 16 combatants and four ordinary people, according to the Centcom.
The statement claimed that identity and functioning of the remaining 60 persons were unclear. “We abhor the loss of innocent life and take all possible measures to prevent them,” Capt. Bill Urban, a Centcom spokesman explained.
On paper, the US military sets tight steps to safeguard civilians. Special Operations task force, however, routinely utilizes other laws to get around them. Military units who are responsible for calculating casualties lack the expertise, resources, and motivation to conduct proper job. And when military kill civilians, they seldom suffer punishment.
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