The recent strike launched by the US-led coalition some 20 miles to the west of al-Raqqah resulted in hundreds of civilian deaths, as the bombs hit a former school that served as shelter for refugees, as it’s been announced by the Turkish Anadolu news agency. It was added that the bombardment targeted more than 50 families who fled the towns of Hamas, Homs and al-Raqqah in a bid to save their lives. Local sources of the same agency have also reported yet another air strike launched in the in the area of Tabqa city, which has claimed at least 40 lives.
Additionally, the US military command confirmed last week that the air strikes it launched in the Syrian province of Aleppo resulted in the death of at least 49 people, which is hardly surprising since the strikes targeted a local mosque in the Al-Jin village during evening prayers. According to local sources, at this time of the day there’s usually around 300 locals praying in the mosque. The Syrian Human Rights Observatory has already stated that the better part of those deceased were civilians. In turn, Le Monde would describe this strike as one of the bloodiest mistakes of the Pentagon since the beginning of its operations in Syrian skies.
It is noteworthy that initially the blame for this strike was pushed on Russian and Syrian air forces, in tune with the Russophobic media campaign that is being pushed upon us all by Washington and a number of European interests. A number Western and Middle Eastern sources were quick to allocate the blame without the slightest piece of evidence to back up their claims.
And the list goes on, with the US-led coalition launching a series of strikes in the southern outskirts of the Syrian city of al-Raqqa on March 12, which resulted in at least 19 civilians being killed, with the air raid being executed during the night hours. Syrian news agency SANA announced that the death toll caused by these air strikes could grew significantly, since a large number of its victims remain in critical condition.
In addition to the tragic incident in the village of Al-Jin, the Pentagon has also confirmed the recent death of 21 civilians in Syria and Iraq that died under US-led coalition bombs. As stated in a recent press release, all the victims died due to the actions carried out within the framework of Operation Inherent Resolve directed against the terrorist organization known as ISIS, in January 2017.
US CENTCOM has also recognized that as a result of military operations on January 29 in the province of Al Bayda in southern Yemen, a number of civilians were killed, including children, as it’s been reported by Reuters. As it’s been clarified by unnamed US officials, an 8-year old American citizen Nawar Anwar al-Awlaki fell victim of US special forces operatives along with a number of local women during a raid launched by NAVY SEALs deep inside Yemeni territory.
In addition to numerous reports on the civilian death toll caused by continuous US air strikes, various media sources are publishing an ever increasing number of reports on the use of depleted uranium in Iraq and Syria by American forces, which may contribute further to the large number of civilian deaths in the long run. It should be noted that depleted uranium is left over from the enrichment of uranium 235. It is exceptionally hard, and has been used by Western military forces both to penetrate armored targets and to reinforce their own vehicles like tanks against enemy fire. Though less radioactive than the original uranium, DU is toxic and is considered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to be a radiation health hazard when inside the body, since it is capable of causing birth defects and cancer.
Earlier, US officials denied the use of depleted uranium munitions in operations against ISIS in Syria. However, Foreign Policy magazine would reveal with a special reference to US Central Command spokesman Maj. Josh Jacques, that the US military used ammunition with depleted uranium during at least two operations against militants in Syria in 2015. According to him, 5,265 armor-piercing 30 mm rounds containing depleted uranium (DU) were fired by America’s A-10 ground-attack aircraft.
If we add the number of innocent victims of the US Air Force in the Middle East over the last three months that were mentioned above to all those who perished under American bombs throughout Washington’s alleged anti-terrorist struggle in Iraq and Syria, there will be little doubt that those figures can easily outnumber actual terrorists killed by the US-led coalition.
So, how can such a price be justified? And who among US military commanders will bear responsibility for all the innocent souls who fell victim to US military actions in the region?
Martin Berger is a freelance journalist and geopolitical analyst, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”