US Admits ‘Mistake’ in Killing Scores of Syrian Troops in Airstrikes

Centcom: Killings Were 'Regrettable'

On September 17, in the middle of a ceasefire negotiated by the US and Russia, US warplanes attacked a Syrian military base in the Deir Ezzor Province, killing at least 62 troops and setting the stage for an ISIS offensive into the region.

US officials have finally gotten around to issuing a report on the matter, calling the attack a “mistake” that was caused by “human error.” Centcom further labeled the killing of all the Syrian troops as “regrettable.” Lt. Gen. Jeff Harrigan added that US forces must “do better than this.”

The weekend attack did major harm to the Syrian military’s position around the key city of Deir Ezzor, and the Syrian government withdrew from the ceasefire just days after the US attack, saying there was no point to keeping the ceasefire in place given how much they were getting attacked.

Britain, whose planes were also involved in the attack, were even less contrite about it than the US officials were, insisting that they had attacked the “Syrian Regime” in the middle of a ceasefire “in good faith,” and insisting the US report proved that the attack “was reasonable.”

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.