Tags: ISIS/Islamic State | Middle East | Syria | War on Terrorism | ISIS | attacks | civilians

Daily Beast: Pentagon Admits to Killing Civilians in Attacks on ISIS

By    |   Monday, 04 May 2015 10:02 PM

The Pentagon has admitted to killing civilians as part of its military offensive against the Islamic State (ISIS), according to a report in the Daily Beast.

The website claims a military investigation by U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) revealed the deaths and a report is due to be released as soon as this week.

The story does not say when the deaths occurred, but it does discuss an April 30 bombing on ISIS targets in Bir Mahli, a village in Syria. That bombing, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, resulted in more than five dozen civilians being killed.

CENTCOM said earlier this year it was investigating claims of civilian deaths, the first time during the military offensive that began last summer it has disclosed the possibility of civilians being killed by U.S. warplanes.

CENTCOM said in January it was looking into two incidents in which civilians may have been killed — one in Iraq and one in Syria.

According to The Daily Beast, CENTCOM spokesman Army Maj. Curt Kellogg said the U.S. military uses precision weaponry and always tries to avoid harming civilians.

"No other military works as hard as we do to be precise in the application of our airstrikes. We have significant mitigation measures in place within the targeting process and during the conduct of operations to reduce the potential risks of collateral damage and civilian casualties,"Kellogg said. "I can assure you that before any mission, every precaution is taken to ensure civilians are not harmed. Our efforts stand in stark contrast to the tactics of [ISIS], who continues to kill, torture, and abuse civilians as well as embed their combatants in civilian areas."

Regarding the April 30 strike in Bir Mahli, Kellogg said the U.S. has "no indication" the attack resulted in civilian deaths.

"We currently have no indication that any civilians were killed in these strikes," Kellogg said, according to The Daily Beast. "We have significant mitigation measures in place within the targeting process and during the conduct of operations to reduce the potential risks of collateral damage and civilian casualties. We work extremely hard to be precise in the application of our airstrikes and take all allegations of civilian casualties very seriously."

Airstrikes over the weekend in the Syrian province of Aleppo, meanwhile, may have killed as many as 52 civilians. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the strikes intended for ISIS targets had a high civilian death toll.

"We in SOHR condemn in the strongest terms this massacre committed by the U.S led coalition under the pretext of targeting the [Islamic State] in the village, and we call the coalition countries to refer who committed this massacre to the courts, as we renew our calls to neutralize all civilians areas from military operations by all parties," the observatory said in a statement.

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The Pentagon has admitted to killing civilians as part of its military offensive against the Islamic State (ISIS), according to a report in the Daily Beast.
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2015-02-04
Monday, 04 May 2015 10:02 PM
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