Pentagon: US Airstrike on Raqqa May Have Killed Civilians

Strike Blew Up Non-Military Vehicle, Unclear How Many People Were In It

The Pentagon says it may have killed some additional civilians in its most recent airstrikes against the ISIS capital city of Raqqa, in northern Syria. They offered few details on how many civilians may have been among the slain.

Officials said that a “non-military vehicle” drove into the area that US warplanes were bombing, and got blown up by the bombs. They were unsure how many people were inside the vehicle or what happened to them, though presumably they were killed.

No other details were offered, beyond officials confirming that Central Command will “review” the incident and decide if it is worth actually carrying out an investigation. Historically, very few of the civilian deaths in the US bombing campaign have been investigated, and fewer still confirmed.

This is the first report of civilian deaths in US strikes inside Syria since the end of the battle of Manbij last week. US warplanes killed several hundred civilians in that bombing campaign over the course of the campaign against that city. So far this is still just a matter of investigation as far as the US is concerned.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.