Continuing to try to shift the narrative on some US airstrikes that led to particularly large civilian death tolls, the Pentagon today released a video captured by a drone which they say shows ISIS was moving civilians around within the densely populated western half of Mosul to use as “human shields.”
The video showed two small groups of civilians being led into a building that ISIS was using to fire on Iraqi forces. Col. Joe Scrocca, a US spokesman, claimed ISIS was trying to “deter” US strikes with the presence of human shields at locations they are operating from.
This doesn’t appear to be working very well for ISIS, as the US has been attacking the buildings irrespective of the large civilian presences. The mid-March incident, in which the US killed over 200 civilians in leveling three buildings, reportedly had similar pre-strike surveillance videos showing ISIS forcing civilians into those buildings.
It’s noteworthy that this isn’t the video that got released, but rather a much smaller incident at a random building, but the fact that the US attacked the buildings anyhow makes the existence of such a video even more damning, as it would suggest the US knowingly attacked a site full of civilians.
Attempts to shift talk away from the civilian toll and toward the use of human shields doesn’t appear to really get the US out of responsibility for the killings at any rate, and if anything underscores that the use of human shields isn’t an effective policy against the Pentagon, which seems to just use it as a license to kill civilians en masse.
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