Germany Admits Role in US Airstrike That Killed 33 Civilians in Syria

German Recon Planes Provided Pictures of School Full of Civilians Before Strike

Last week, a US airstrike against the Syrian town of al-Mansour hit a school that was housing displaced civilians, killing at least 33 of them, and by some estimates as many as 50. Today, German officials confirmed that the German Air Force was also involved in the incident.

German planes do not conduct airstrikes in Syria, but are rather used for reconnaissance, and officials say that German Tornado jets had taken images of the school and the surrounding area the day before the attack, along with photos after the attack on the damage inflicted.

The German officials conceded that the planes’ images showed nothing to indicate whether the school contained civilians or combatants, which contradicts the Pentagon’s claims that they had cconclusive intelligence that the school was full of ISIS fighters.

That locals described the victims as largely women and children did not deter US commander Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend from declaring the attack a “clean strike,” and insisting that claims of civilian deaths were not credible. German reports appear to give even more credence to the idea that civilians were killed in the incident, or at the very least that the US did not have any conclusive intelligence on ISIS being inside the site.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of