US-led air strikes killed record number of civilians in Syria

By Alice Donovan for Veterans Today

Air strikes carried out by the US and its coalition partners in Syria have killed the highest number of civilians on record since the bombing campaign began, a war monitor has said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a group mostly advocating anti-government forces in the war in Syria, said on Tuesday that the US-led coalition killed a total of 225 civilians between April 23 and May 23, the highest 30-day toll since the campaign began in 2014.

“The past month of operations is the highest civilian toll since the coalition began bombing Syria,” Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP news agency. “There has been a very big escalation.”

A U.S. military spokesman was quick to characterize those casualties as being accidents, otherwise, the result of U.S.-allied bombings but deferring all blame from the U.S.-led alliance.

Stephen Townsend, a U.S. general and commander of Baghdad’s forces, said that the Islamic State group had “probably played a role in those casualties,” by using civilians as human shields. He provided no proof to validate his claims.

International human rights organizations argue that the official number of civilians killed in coalition operations is far greater than that reported by the Pentagon beacause Washington rejects figures provided by monitors on the ground and always tries to cut back on the number of the casualties.

In March, the US was accused of killing around 300 civilians alone after one strike which hit a mosque in Aleppo province and two incidents in the fight for Isis-controlled neighbourhoods of the Iraqi city of Mosul.

Earlier this month, the US military said that coalition air strikes in Iraq and Syria had ”unintentionally“ killed 352 civilians since the campaign began, but rights groups have blasted the estimate as too low, saying the US is guilty of not taking “sufficient precautions” to avoid civilian deaths.

The US and allies formed the coalition earlier in 2014 to fight Daesh in neighboring Iraq, but they later expanded it to include territories in east and north of Syria. Damascus, which itself is busy fighting terrorists on multiple fronts, condemned the decision at the time, saying it violated Syria’s territorial integrity.

The Syrian government has never sought assistance from the West as it insists that Washington and allies in Europe have helped the surge in militancy in the Arab country by providing direct finance and weaponry to certain militant groups.

SOHR’s own estimate is that 1,481 people, among them 319 children, have been killed by US-led air operations since 2014.

The International Coalition consists of the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Canada, and Denmark among others.

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5 Responses to "US-led air strikes killed record number of civilians in Syria"

  1. wjabbe  May 24, 2017 at 8:36 am
    “Townsend was born in Scheinfeld in 1967 to a German art student mother and an Afghan medical student father, the result of a love affair.[2] He was adopted soon after birth by an American military family in Germany. His adoptive father, James Townsend, was a staff sergeant in an armored unit.[4] Townsend grew up in Griffin, Georgia, graduating from Griffin High School in 1978. Townsend graduated from North Georgia College in 1982 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology.[5] He was commissioned into the Infantry from the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps thereafter
    On 4 May 2015, Townsend became commander of the XVIII Airborne Corps. He was promoted to Lieutenant General shortly before.[10] Townsend became commander of Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve on 21 August 2016, replacing Lieutenant General Sean MacFarland.[3]
    Personal life[edit]
    Townsend is married to Melissa Crawford Townsend and has two sons, Tyler and Evan”.[4][5

  2. wjabbe  May 24, 2017 at 8:15 am

    These U.S. planes should be shot down with surface to air missiles. They are engaged in criminal war crimes against civilians. The pilots of these planes are international criminals. Name and identify them, publish their home addresses and family names. Publish the home address of that disgusting lying U.S. General. Send a commando squad to put a stop to his international crimes since the worthless UN allows all this criminal activity by the outlaw U.S. and does nothing. This is dog eat dog now. The line must be drawn with the killing of innocent civilians. Publish pictures of actual dead bodies shown with the U.S planes and pilots. Bloggers in the U.S. will publish the pictures. A picture is worth a thousand words. We will publish the images of dead victims in the home towns of these criminal U.S. pilots.

  3. joetv  May 24, 2017 at 7:27 am

    Where are Ivanka’s tears when needed?
    “She’s busy now…. Really, you don’t say. May I ask busy doing what?….. Marketing stupid… ! Marketing what?… Her name. Boy are you dumb?
    It’s simple business 101,… at the Community College it’s called building a brand name. The Trump name?…. Why do I have to explain everything?

  4. joetv  May 24, 2017 at 7:12 am

    All the coalition nations have a colonial history in the ME which by nature should preclude the “coalition” any military role in the area. Curiously Israel s not named, yet it is deeply involved.
    So it’s not a stretch to argue the slaughter of civilians is.part of the Western plan to destabilize the governments of Syria, Iraq, and Lebenon so chaos will reign, resources stolen, and the encirclement of Russia tightened, as Iran becomes more isolated.

  5. JohnZ  May 24, 2017 at 7:06 am

    There are lies and then there are damned lies. No one is better at it than Washington and its military
    But hey, if you want to murder innocent men, women and children and never face justice for it, then the U.S. military is the place for you. You get to invade sovereign nations, murder innocent people, destroy infrastructure, towns and cities, rape the women, deal in drugs and generally carry on as if you were still in the hood or back in the hollow.
    America’s only export is death, destruction, chaos and misery, especially to those caught in israel’s plan for a greater israel. The U.S. military is now nothing more than another mercenary army for certain middle eastern states who are ruled by thugs and despots, some of them criminally insane.

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