Despite Mounting Evidence, Pentagon Denies US Troops Killed Somali Civilians

Investigators Say No Civilians Killed at All

The August 25 massacre at Barire village in Somalia was a major problem for the Somali government, who initially denied that anything happened but then admitted that 10 civilians were killed in joint US-Somali operations against the village.

There’s pretty strong evidence for this massacre taking place, not the least of which being that the village brought the bodies to the capital city and put them on display until the government admitted to what they did. The Pentagon however appears not to have been keeping up with the very public fallout of this incident.

Instead, their “investigation” claimed that US troops never fired on any civilians, and that no civilians at all were killed. Again, they are claiming that civilians weren’t killed despite the raid leading to an immediate arrival of 10 corpses, including three children, all very much killed in that incident.

African Command says everyone killed was a combatant, which is in keeping with the Pentagon’s increasingly reckless strategy of denying overseas incidents of civilian deaths. It is not, however, credible that children as young as eight were “armed enemy combatants,” particularly when the signs are many of them were executed at close range.

While traditionally lying about war crimes like this was done to protect foreign partners, that doesn’t apply in this case either, because the Somali government was already forced to admit their role in the killings.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.