In a new statement, the Pentagon conceded that three separate US airstrikes over the past week included attacks which “may have resulted in civilian casualties.” All of the strikes took place in Syria, in and around ISIS-held territory.
There had already been reports on the first of the three strikes, on September 7 in Deir Ezzor Province, where US airstrikes destroyed a “non-military vehicle” that just happened to be driving by an area they intended to attack. There was no detail on the number of people within.
Centcom indicated that the September 12 strike against Ash Shaddadah was roughly the same story, with another unidentified but apparently civilian vehicle happening by after the warplanes had already fired missiles, and getting destroyed in the process.
The September 10 airstrike was a different matter, were US warplanes attacked an ISIS target near their capital of Raqqa, and say they may have killed an unknown number of civilians in the surrounding area. Once again, there were no details on how many were killed.
Centcom rarely admits to killing civilians in airstrikes in either Iraq or Syria, and generally speaking doesn’t even finish its investigations into such reports, just cancelling them part way through and labeling the reports as “not credible.” Though observers have put the toll of US airstrikes in the several hundreds of civilians, Centcom has only admitted to a handful overall.
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