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Pentagon investigates 2019 strike that killed civilians in Syria

2021-11-29T23:35:41.459Z

The US Department of Defense on Monday, November 29, launched a new investigation into an airstrike that killed civilians in Syria in 2019, ...



The US Department of Defense on Monday (November 29th) launched a new investigation into an airstrike that killed civilians in Syria in 2019, two weeks after the publication of a

New York Times

investigation

accusing the US military of seeking to conceal the presence of non-combatant victims.

Minister Lloyd Austin instructed Army General Michael Garrett to

"re-examine the reports of the investigation already carried out into this incident"

, which occurred on March 18, 2019 in Baghouz, Syria, the report said. Pentagon spokesman John Kirby.

Read alsoAfter ten years of war, Bashar al-Assad still reigns over a Syria in ruins

According to the

New York Times

, a US special force operating in Syria - sometimes in complete secrecy - bombed a group of civilians three times that day near Baghouz, the last stronghold of the Islamic State (IS) group, killing 70 people including women and children. General Garrett, who was still leading ground forces in the Middle East days before the deadly strike, will have 90 days to review not only the strike but also how the initial investigation was conducted and how the hierarchy military was informed, said the spokesperson.

In particular, the new investigation will have to determine whether the laws of war have been respected and whether the measures to protect civilians supposedly followed according to previous investigations into this tragedy have actually been implemented, added John Kirby.

It will also have to establish whether sanctions should be applied and whether the procedures in place should be changed, he detailed.

Read also Rifaat al-Assad, sentenced in France, returns to Syria

The initial investigation by the US Army Central Command, which oversees military operations in the Middle East, determined that they were

"self-defense"

,

"proportional"

and

"appropriate measures". were taken to exclude the presence of civilians ”

. But some women and some children,

"whether following an indoctrination or a choice, have decided to take up arms (...) and as such, could not be strictly identified as civilians"

, underlined the central command.

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and their US-led coalition allies announced the defeat of the IS "caliphate" at the end of March 2019 after overcoming the last jihadist stronghold of Baghouz.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2021-11-29

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