The death toll of yesterday’s apparent US airstrikes against the ISIS-held Syrian border town of Abu Kamal continued to rise today, with the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights saying that 42 civilians have now died as a result of the attack, which targeted a residential area and adjoining mosque.
The Pentagon was mum on the incident yesterday, but today issued a blanket denial, insisting that they had carried out no airstrikes against Abu Kamal, nor had any members of their coalition. They did however say they attacked oil production facilities just outside of the town, which is on the Iraqi border.
It’s hard to imagine that the US warplanes could’ve “missed” the oil facilities by 50 km and hit the town without knowing about it, and the town was undoubtedly hit. That the US is not providing any information is curious, as they are admitting to operating adjacent to the town, and would doubtless know if someone else was operating there.
Outside of the US coalition, the only country that has any history of attacking Abu Kamal at all is Iraq, whose Air Force has launched some cross-border strikes in the past. Still, the most likely answer is that the US and its coalition partners carried out attacks that didn’t go as planned, and the Pentagon is trying to avoid talking about it.