10.06.2018 Author: Martin Berger

Inadmissible Price Civilians keep Paying for Washington’s Military Presence in the Middle East


Those armed conflicts across the Middle East that Washington organized and continues to sustain have been repeatedly condemned by the international media and various political figures, since they are associated with a massive civilian death toll that keeps rising over the years. Among those conflicts one can name the armed struggles in Syria in Iraq, where innocent local citizens get caught under stray bombs and shells.

Speaking about such incidents, there’s been a number of them in Syria recently. For instance, at least 8 civilians died under the bombs of the so-called US-led coalition in the Al-Hasakah Governorate on June 2 , including children and women.

Last February, the same so-called coalition launched a massive air strike against the cities of Hajin and al-Bahrah in the Deir ez-Zor Governorate, which resulted in the death of 28 civilians. Later that month, a series of strikes against villages in the same Governorate, resulted in yet another 29 civilians killed, with over a hundred more people suffering wounds of varying degrees of intensity.

Over the course of that month, over a hundred of Syrian armed forced servicemen perished under American bombs, as it was reported by ABC with a special reference to unnamed sources in Washington.

Last April, the Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR) under the pressure of all sorts of media reports was forced to recognize that at least 883 civilians fell victims of the operations conducted by US Armed Forced in Syria and Iraq

The appalling humanitarian situation in the Syrian city of al-Raqqa, where a series of the US-led coalition air strikes resulted in almost complete destruction of all residential buildings, hospitals, mosques, schools, civilian infrastructure facilities has been of particular concern of the international community members lately. Under the mountains of debris produced by those strikes engineers are still finding corpses of perished civilians, while mines keep claiming lives on the daily basis. There’s a number of registered instances of international human law violations on the part of the US-led coalition that were committed in the course of liberation of this former ISIS stronghold. Among them is a deliberate bombing run against a residential school in the al-Mansour district, which resulted in the death of at least 150 people, as it was stated in the latest report of the independent inquiry commission on Syria. This resulted in this body urging the US-led coalition to conduct a thorough investigation of all instances of deliberate air strikes against civilian targets, while disclosing the results of this investigation.

However, the said coalition couldn’t care less about claims published in various media sources, in spite of the fact that most journals usually have some sort of evidence to back up their claims. While showing a complete disregard to all sorts of criticism provoked by its vicious policies, the White House has once again decided to launch a propaganda campaign to push the blame for such failures on other countries.

Thus,while speaking at the Holocaust Museum in Washington last Mach, the US National Security Advisor, Herbert Raymond McMaster urged the West to bring Russia and Iran to justice for them allowing the continuation of violence in Syria, instead of recognizing the role that Washington played in the orchestration of the ongoing hostilities in Syria.

Last April, US Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley condemned Russia for its policies in Syria at the meeting of the UN Security Council, but she has obviously confused Moscow with Washington, when she boldly stated that its hands are all covered in the blood of Syrian children. And it seems that the Commander of United States Central Command, Joseph Votel is equally clueless as to what is happening in the Middle East, as he has recently announced that Russia has been playing a “destabilizing role” in the Syrian conflict.

Against this background, a lot of attention has drawn to the report released by Amnesty International on the actions of American troops in the Syrian city of al-Raqqa during the assault aimed at pushing ISIS militants out of this settlement. According to the opinion that these experts voiced in the report titled War of Annihilation, in the course of operation conducted by US Armed Force in 2017, hundreds of residents of al-Raqqa were killed, while certain districts of this city were reduced to rubble. Most of those behind to report agree that when the level of civilian casualties during an assault becomes massive, it usually means that no attempt was even made to spare human lives.

The number of ongoing civilian casualties suffered by Iraq and Syria as a result of the US-led coalition air strikes has doubled in just a year. This assessment based on the data collected from open sources, was presented last January by the British monitoring group Airwars. This year alone Washington bears full responsibility for the murder of 6,102 people. In comparison with the figures of 2016, the number of civilian perished under American bombs in Syria increased fourfold. In Iraq, this figure grew by 87%: with at least 1128 people getting killed by unlawful bombing runs.

Last year has proven to be the most deadly for peaceful Iraqis and Syrians. The assaults of Iraqi Mosul, and Syria’s al-Raqqa resulted in despicably high rates of unjustified civilian losses. So it should surprise nobody that in recent month protests demanding the immediate withdrawal of American troops have been held on the regular basis in both Syria and Iraq. Moreover, Syria’s Foreign Ministry has repeatedly appealed to the United Nations, demanding it to force Washington to withdraw its troops that have been carrying on their deployment in Syria illegally.

It’s been noted that a FAIR survey of the top 100 papers in the US by circulation failed to single out a single editorial board opposed to Trump’s 13 air strikes on Syria. Twenty supported the strikes, while six were ambiguous as to whether or not the bombing was advisable. The remaining 74 issued no opinion about Trump’s latest escalation of the Syrian war. However, what is even more disturbing is the fact that none of the top 100 newspapers questioned on what legal or moral rights Washington carries on its bombing runs in Syria, since the US government is in clear violation of the international law, while it claims to remain its neutral arbiter.

So why every single opinion piece in the West fails to provide an objective assessment of the US actions in the Middle East, or are just supposed to sit on the couch, watching peaceful civilians across the globe getting slaughtered by the so-called “global policeman”.

Martin Berger is a freelance journalist and geopolitical analyst, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”