On December 28, US warplanes leveled the government center in the Syrian town of al-Bab, which is under ISIS control. Locals reported that a number of civilians were killed in the strike.
The Pentagon, as usual, is issuing a blanket denial of responsibility, confirming that they did in fact blow up the building, but insisting “no civilians” were among the slain.
Topping that off with the least plausible excuse imaginable, they went on to note that Syrian warplanes had bombed other stuff in the area a couple days prior, and said the locals might’ve confused the two attacks, even though they were in different, albeit nearby, localities.
Incidents of US warplanes in Syria and Iraq killing large numbers of civilians are not so unusual. On January 11, US planes destroyed a prison, killing 50 civilian prisoners. Then too, the Pentagon said the allegation was “not credible.”
But once again, the not credible thing is the Pentagon’s denial. Blowing up a government center in the middle of a populated town then denying all civilian deaths is not credible, and leveling an occupied prison and denying any prisoners were killed is even less so.
The Pentagon seems willing to just shrug off the huge death toll it is racking up, even as intelligence officials concede they have very little intelligence on what they’re even hitting in Syria. It will continue to work only to the extent that no one examines their claims too closely.