US Killed Syria Civilians After Mistaking Grain Silo for ‘Jihadist Base’

Observatory: At Least 19 Civilians Killed in US Air War

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, US airstrikes against ISIS-held Syria today hit grain silo and other civilian targets, killing at least two civilians and burning multiple silos full of harvested grain.

Locals scrambled to rescue civilian workers trapped by the rubble of the attacks, and it is believed that the US mistook the large silos for “jihadist bases.”

Which is the inevitable consequence of the escalating US air war against Syria, with no real intelligence about which ISIS fighters are on the ground or where, and after yesterday’s attacks on oil refineries, the US risks its strikes being seen locally as targeting the civilian infrastructure primarily.

The Pentagon is going back to its old narrative on civilian killings from previous wars, issuing a blanket denial claiming they hadn’t seen any evidence of civilian deaths anywhere in the war, and insisting they rely on reconnaissance flights to determine the “battle damage.”

Civilian deaths have been documented in previous US strikes as well, including eight civilians slain in last week’s attacks on Khorasan. The Syrian Observatory says they’ve counted at least 19 civilians killed in US strikes overall.

Collateral damage killings are inevitable in a US air war that spans large portions of both Iraq and Syria and aims to “destroy” ISIS in several major cities, but racking up large body counts of innocent bystanders early in the war risks alienating the locals that it claims are so vital in the conflict.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.