A new report shows that the U.S. military has been killing civilians in Syria, despite what the Pentagon says. Specifically, it refers to the 2019 raid on ISIS founder Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi that led him to blow himself up.
At the time, President Trump said it was “impeccable.” Precise. No civilians were hurt. The report shows just the opposite. It shows that the U.S. fired on people it had no idea were combatants, and the U.S. fired first, despite assertions that the men were hostile.
The men were not combatants. They were workers at an olive press. The U.S. opened fire on them, they ran from the van and they killed them. One man survived but he lost his arm.
We only know this because NPR sued the Pentagon under the Freedom of Information Act to release documentation of the airstrikes, and it obtained a redacted copy of the Defense Department’s confidential 2020 report on the incident. When presented with this, the Pentagon spokesperson said this to NPR: “It did not order a formal investigation because it ‘deemed the civilian casualty allegations not credible.’ It said it had no plans to reassess the allegations. ‘We have nothing additional to offer.’”
We will discuss this with Syrian immigrant Kevork Almassian on tonight’s episode of Redacted.