The US Defense Department tried to hide a 2019 airstrike during the campaign against Islamic State in Syria that resulted in the largest civilian casualties in the war, an event that some within the military believed was a possible war crime, according to a new York Times investigation.
NS Times Found that on March 18, 2019, airstrikes were carried out near Baghouz – the last stronghold of Islamic State in Syria – by Special Operations Unit Task Force 9, personnel of the Joint Air Operations Center in Qatar, seen via drone, The hit was believed to have been a mob of women and children.
The bombing was flagged as a possible war crime by an Air Force lawyer, who then reported it to his chain of command, but it did not launch a thorough, independent investigation. Times it is said.
US Central Command acknowledged Times that 80 people were killed in the airstrikes, but said it had identified only four civilians who were killed along with 16 Islamic State fighters, while another 60 killed, including women and children, were probably not civilians. .
According to Times, Air Force attorney Lieutenant Colonel Dean Korsak pressed for an investigation into the incidents, eventually submitting a letter to the Senate Armed Services Committee stating that senior-ranking military officers “deliberately and systematically deliberately circumvented the strike process” and ” were clearly seeking to cover up” events. ,
Some officials overseeing the air campaign against Islamic State believed that Task Force 9 had repeatedly claimed false pretenses for ordering the airstrikes, which was called a general investigation to prevent civilian deaths. was not given. Times,
Jean Tate, a former assessor in the DoD inspector general’s office, told Times He was forcibly fired after complaining that the office was not investigating the incident adequately.