Mosul Massacre II: US Is Bombing Civilians in Raqqa

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Mosul Massacre II: US Is Bombing Civilians in Raqqa

It seems the widely condemned slaughter of civilians in Iraq’s Mosul was never enough; because the United States is now busy doing the same thing in Syria’s Raqqa – bombing civilians who have two choices: flee or die.

ISIL was defeated in Mosul after a nine-month Iraqi military campaign. But US airstrikes that destroyed significant parts of Iraq’s second largest city, killing up to 40,000 civilians and forcing as many as one million more people from their homes, is now repeating itself in Raqqa. Now, the United States is focusing its energies – and warplanes – on the ISIL-occupied city of Raqqa in an offensive dubbed “Euphrates Rage Operation.”

ISIL’s brutal treatment of civilians in Syria has been well reported and publicized. And the Syrian government has every right to dislodge the terrorist group from its soil. But that does in no way give a ticket to the US to slaughter its innocent civilians as well. Reports and photographs from journalists as well as first-person accounts from those with family members living in areas under US bombardment, detail a strikingly different tale of the American offensive – one that looks a lot less like a battle against ISIL and a lot more like a war on civilians.

These human rights groups and local reporters say that, across Syria in recent months, the US-led coalition and US Marines have bombed or shelled many civilian objects: Primary schools and high schools; a health clinic and an obstetrics hospital; Raqqa’s Science College; residential neighborhoods; bakeries; post offices; at least 15 mosques; a cultural center; a gas station; cars carrying civilians to the hospital; a funeral; water tanks; at least 15 bridges; a makeshift refugee camp; the ancient Rafiqah Wall that dates back to the 8th century; and an Internet cafe, where a Syrian media activist was killed as he was trying to smuggle US war crime news out of the besieged city.

In a sense, the United States is one of the deadliest warring parties in Syria. In May and June combined, the US-led coalition killed more civilians than the terrorists, according to the Syrian Network for Human Rights, a nongovernmental organization that has been monitoring the death toll and human rights violations since 2011. “The US is targeting and killing without taking into consideration the benefits for the military and the collateral damage for the civilians. This, of course, amounts to war crimes,” the group concludes.

Nowhere is this war against civilians more acute than in ISIL-occupied Raqqa, where trapped civilians are living under dozens of airstrikes every day. This particular city has become one of the most isolated cities in the world. The militants ban residents from having home Internet, satellite dishes, or WiFi hotspots. They arrest and kill local reporters and ban outside journalists.

Despite these restrictions, dozens of journalists and activists have risked and still risk their lives to smuggle information out of besieged Raqqa – and their efforts are the only reason global media outlets have any information about the war crimes the United States and its allies are committing there.

It’s because of this work that we know the Raqqa offensive by the US is not about liberating the terror-held city; it’s about a barrage of airstrikes and artillery shelling that are designed to hit schools, train stations, the immigration and passport building, mosques, and multiple residential neighborhoods. They are never designed to target the terrorist group, much less liberate the city in one piece.

Worse still, the US military forces are also using white phosphorous bombs. White phosphorus is capable of burning human flesh to the bone. When exposed to oxygen, the chemical ignites reaching a temperature of 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s so flammable that its burns can reignite days later if the bandages are removed too soon.

US military officials have not denied using white phosphorus in the city. The Pentagon regime has, in fact, published photos of US Marines deployed to the Raqqa region transporting US-manufactured white phosphorus munitions. Its spokesmen claim that the US military only uses this incendiary agent to mark targets for air strikes or to create smoke screens and therefore remains in accordance with international law. But Amnesty International warns: “The US-led coalition’s use of white phosphorus munitions on the outskirts of al-Raqqa, Syria, is unlawful and may amount to a war crime.” Amnesty similarly accused the US of committing war crimes during its campaign against ISIL in Mosul.

This madness has to stop – before many more civilians are killed in US airstrikes or burned to death by white phosphorous bombs. There are many causes of death for the long-suffering people of Raqqa. Last thing they want is white phosphorous bombs and indiscriminate airstrikes by the US or daily artillery shelling by Washington’s favorite terrorists.

In June alone, US warplanes and Marines fired or dropped approximately 4,400 munitions on Raqqa and its surrounding villages. According to the Human Rights Watch, these munitions are dropped by B-52 bombers and other warplanes, most taking off from the al-Udeid Air Base in Qatar, Incirlik Air Base in Turkey, or the USS George H.W. Bush, an aircraft carrier stationed off Syria’s coast in the eastern Mediterranean.

Hundreds of US Marines, most from the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, are also positioned outside Raqqa and are firing high explosive artillery rounds into the city from M777 Howitzers. In late June, the Marines’ official Twitter feed boasted that they were conducting artillery fire in support of US-backed troops and terrorists 24 hours a day.

The result of this type of warfare is not that hard to predict: A staggering increase in civilian casualties – or more accurately, as many civilians in Syria and Iraq as were killed in the previous two and a half years of the Obama administration. In the book of International Law, this is not what they call fighting terrorism.

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6 Responses to "Mosul Massacre II: US Is Bombing Civilians in Raqqa"

  1. mb.  July 31, 2017 at 10:50 pm

    Hard to tell what’s truth these days … but no Syrian/russian planes ? And as almost always the UN seems to not exist.

  2. JohninMK  July 31, 2017 at 4:22 pm

    House to house fighting against an opponent well dug in and willing to die is about as tough as it gets.

    Much easier to just flatten the place by 155mm shell or rocket/bomb it doesn’t matter, sod any collateral damage,e.g. civilians. Especially when there are no prying cameras from the outside world monitoring and reporting on what is actually happening. Any that get in accidentally find access to the MSM strangely difficult.

    This is not just in Raqqa, but it seems to be US policy in any poor village in ‘their’ part of Syria.

  3. Altimometer  July 31, 2017 at 7:31 am

    The BBC ran a national piece on “The White Helmets, The last men in Raqqa” and was such a splendid work of fiction, though they sought propaganda.

  4. Eduardo  July 30, 2017 at 8:49 pm

    The book of International law is a nonsense fiction and does not even come close to any meaning of “law”.
    The 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit should be bombed, taken prisoner and trialled by Assad’s own laws of war, and the commander of this Unit hanged from the last tower standing in Raqqa for all USA to see and the crows to feed on.
    USA has become a noxious disease and should be treated as such.

  5. wjabbe  July 30, 2017 at 8:00 pm

    These so called U.S. Marines and U.S. Air Force Pilots and Generals and all the rest are not to be idolized as Adolf Trump idolizes them, but regarded as international war criminals who should be arrested and jailed and brought to trial for war crimes against civilians and children. These are not courageous warriors but gutless cowards just like Adolf Trump who killed innocent children and civilians in Yemen and Syria about two months after being inaugurated. They are violating all their own rules and giving our Constitution the middle finger. America has degenerated into a Mafia Cesspool. These jerks deserve zero respect. Someone should spit in their cowardly faces all of them. All of them should be identified by name, home address in the U.S. where they grew up and high school they graduated from to embarrass them in front of their parents and teachers who raised cowardly criminals not honorable members of our corrupt military today who are nothing but a bunch of outlaw thugs. These ignorant pieces of human garbage never heard of General Smedley Butler or the late Angelo J. Liteky who respectively were awarded two Medals of Honor and one Medal of Honor. These jerks in Syria are a disgrace to everything the Founders of America stood for. Shame, shame shame on all of you. Ignorance is bliss.

    • wjabbe  July 30, 2017 at 8:12 pm

      “Shoot first and ask questions later”. Is this what our Military has degenerated to? What kind of idiots has our Military become today anyway? These are the disgraceful thugs in the fancy uniforms with all those undeserved medals and ribbons on who did not lift a finger to defend America on 9/11/01 but no one asked them why they chickened out that day, either having been ordered to stand down by criminals Bus and Cheney or traitorously doing in on their own; either way they are cowards and traitors to America and all belong in a jail cell for life. These degenerates were never questioned about their gross misconduct but were permitted to retire on undeserved lavish pensions for the rest of their worthless lives. It is just unbelievable that this country has degenerated down so far into the sewer of total betrayal and disgrace by military whores and prostitutes just like Congress and the chief traitor in charge Adolf. Although Putin would be totally justified legally to bomb all of you out of Syria he restrains himself because he does not want to start WWIII by the criminals in the U.S. Military who have zero respect for law and are therefore outlaws themselves.

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