US Airstrike Kills Family of Eight Fleeing Syria Fighting

Five Children Among Slain in Attack Outside Tabqa

US officials have made much of Kurdish YPG forces attacking the town of Tabqa, which is at least somewhat under ISIS control. Locals are trying to flee the fighting, however, and that seems to be where the US is most involved, attacking and killing a family of eight outside of Tabqa as they tried to get away.

Reports from multiple local groups say that the family of eight, including five children aged 15 or under, were in a vehicle fleeing the town, and that the US attacked and destroyed the vehicle, killing all within. The Pentagon has yet to comment on the killings.

Usually, when the US blows up a vehicle full of unidentified people, the victims are labeled “suspects,” whether or not there were children among them. This appears to be difficult in this case, with multiple NGOs that had been documenting ISIS abuses in the area unwilling to keep silent on the incident.

Civilian deaths have been soaring in recent months in the US air war in both Iraq and Syria, though the official Pentagon count is virtually unchanged, with officials admitting to less than 10% of the civilians slain in cases documented by NGOs. Most such incidents aren’t even investigated by the Pentagon, which dismisses them out of hand as “not credible.”

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.