Last Tuesday, Reuters would report the deaths of at least 58 people in the Syrian Governorate of Idlib as a result of alleged attacks by Syrian and Russian air forces.
The international community was immediately informed by the Syrian authorities that this mournful incident did only occur as a result of the destruction of weapons stockpiles accumulated by ISIS in this area, which, among other things, contained a massive volume of prohibited chemical substances produced by the militants.
Nevertheless, the absolute majority of European and American politicians were quick to jump upon the anti-Damascus bandwagon in a bid to promote hysteria aimed at bringing down the legitimate Syrian government. Washington has even tried to bring this topic to the attention of the UN Security Council as a case of so-called use of criminal substances against civilians, while not having anything as remotely as serious as Powell’s test tube as evidence, even though the latter was transparently dishonest in its own right ahead of the 2003 US invasion of Iraq.
There can be little doubt that this recent propaganda campaign has been in the making for a while, devised in a desperate bid to divert public attention away from the mounting anti-Western criticism voiced by the international community triggered by an ever widening list of atrocities that the so-called US coalition has been committing recently both in Iraq and in Syria.
Meanwhile, according to various EU and US media sources, the civilian death toll continues to mount rapidly at a result of the most blatantly reckless Western airstrikes we’ve witnessed in recent decades. As it’s been noted by Reuters, just one instance has recently resulted in at least 240 civilians being killed.
If one is to take into consideration that the US coalition has been pounding Mosul with airstrikes on a daily basis, they would understand why certain analysts claim that Washington is responsible for tens of thousands of civilian deaths in this operation alone. At the same time, as we’ve already witnessed in Syria, NATO forces are reluctant to concentrate their efforts on the destruction of ISIS militants, since they seem determined to pursue their ultimate goal – to inflict as much damage to the civilian infrastructure of Iraq and to postpone reconstruction of the country for as long as possible.
The civil administration of Mosul has repeatedly pointed out that target confusion has become so commonplace among US pilots that civilian deaths accompanied by the destruction of infrastructure in this Iraqi city is now a day-to-day reality for those who found themselves trapped in this conflict. In particular, it’s been noted that the recent airstrikes by US coalition forces in western Mosul have left up to 70% of residential buildings destroyed, with the situation in the eastern half of the city being marginally better with 30% of buildings being obliterated. As for the roads, it’s been reported that 90% of them are now ruined.
But Iraq and Syria are not the only ones to suffer from this disaster, as it’s been officially recognized by the head of US Africa Command, General Thomas D. Waldhauser, the Libyan city of Sirte has literally been wiped off the face of the earth by US coalition airstrikes.
Additionally, as it’s been recognized by General Stephen Townsend who is currently in command of the US counter-terrorist operation against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, the US Air Force is responsible for numerous attacks against civilian targets in western Mosul. At the same time, Townsend doesn’t seem to be concerned about the extreme civilian casualties, since, if his statements are to be trusted, they were “expected” in Washington even before the operation began.
It is curious that the above mentioned statements of US representatives were not followed by the massive hysteria across the mainstream media or immediate appeals to the UN Security Council with demands to “punish the guilty”, in sharp contrast to the reaction we’ve seen following the tragic events in Idlib.
Undoubtedly, unjustified civilian deaths, whether they occur in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan or any other country is a tragedy and it must be thoroughly investigated in order to prevent such events in the future.
But all the provocative propaganda campaigns carried out by Western agencies and media sources in cooperation with various NGO like the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, based in London, and the so-called White Helmets should also be the subject of a no less thorough investigation.
Martin Berger is a freelance journalist and geopolitical analyst, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”