Ollie Richardson / StalkerZone & Spencer Ackerman / The Guardian & Leith Fadel / Al-Masdar News – 2016-08-14 00:53:55
Gone With the Wind:
Civilians Massacred in US Airstrike in Manbij
Ollie Richardson / StalkerZone
(August 3, 2016) — The US-led coalition’s presence in Syria is becoming more unwelcome and untenable as the days pass. In the age of Social Media and the general hyper speed of information dissemination, it is becoming increasingly difficult for the massacre of civilians to simply go unnoticed . . .
On July 28th, A US-led coalition airstrike on Ghandura village in northern Manbij resulted in the deaths of 45 civilians, including women and children. The bombing targeted a street market crowded with people. The following day, ISIS, which still controls parts of the city, posted a video depicting the aftermath of the airstrike.
WARNING: The video is horrifically graphic and contains images of the burned and severed bodies of innocent children.
Totally ignoring the airstrike in Manbij, the US Central Command simply published a blanket statement covering the last 9 months, where the claim only 14 civilians were killed as a result of their air strikes:
“US Central Command announced the results of several civilian casualty assessments today. After a trough review of the facts and circumstances for each allegation, the evidence indicates six separate US airstrikes in Iraq and Syria from July 28, 2015 to April 29, 2016, have unfortunately resulted in the death of 14 civilians and injuries to an additional civilian. We deeply regret the unintentional loss of life and injuries resulting from our airstrikes and express our sympathies to those affected.”
Perhaps Central Command forgot to add a zero or more, because one only needs to Google “US Airstrikes in Syria” to see the rate of murder they are guilty of. As the US Air Force is not coordinating their actions with Russia or Bashar al-Assad, it is safe to say that many hundreds, maybe thousands, have been eviscerated in silence.
It is possible that Russia is collecting this data for a future media campaign, something Turkey is familiar with . . . .
One Day Later . . .
Just after the Manbij massacre, the Western warplanes were hungry for blood once again, this time massacring 140 people in one fell swoop.
France is responsible for 120 of those deaths — the US for at least 20. Of course, French media (BFMN TV, TFI, France 24, AFP, etc.) simply ignored the reports in eastern (Russian) media, and continued to report on civilians “fleeing the bloody regime in Aleppo.”
Unfortunately for Hollande & Co., Damascus sent a request to the UN to investigate these war crimes. However, if their attitude towards the Ukrainian Army’s violations in Donbass are anything to go by, they will simply feed the document into a shredder.
“Syria is demanding the UN take action after it says French war planes killed more than 120 civilians during airstrikes on Tuesday near the Turkish-Syrian border. The deaths came just a day after US air assaults killed a further 20 people in Manbij.”
Adding insult to injury (or genocide, in this case), the US is now establishing their Military Industrial Complex inside Syria itself. This will mean the death toys won’t have to travel far to complete their grotesque mission:
“Six3 Intelligence Solutions Inc., McLean, Virginia, was awarded a $9,578,964 modification (P00001) to contract W564KV-16-C-0058 for intelligence analysis services. Work will be performed in Germany, Italy, and Syria, with an estimated completion date of June 29, 2017.
“Fiscal 2016 operations and maintenance (Army) funds in the amount of $6,370,000 were obligated at the time of the award. Army Contracting Command, Kaiserslautern, Germany APO AE, is the contracting activity.”
It is also worth mentioning that the US is building illegal constructions in northern Syria all the time, with the latest example being in Lafarge cement factory in North Syria. [Read much more on the StalkerZone website.}
US Military Says It May Have Killed
More Civilians in Latest Airstrike in Syria
Spencer Ackerman / The Guardian
NEW YORK July 28, 2016) — A day after announcing a formal inquiry into what watchdogs call the United States’ worst civilian casualty incident in its war against the Islamic State militant group, the US military said that more civilians may have been killed in another airstrike around the same Syrian city.
Manbij, the scene of intense fighting for over two months between Isis and US-backed militant groups, has now experienced another airstrike that “may have resulted in civilian casualties”, the US Central Command (Centcom) disclosed late on Thursday. “We can confirm the coalition conducted airstrikes in the area in the last 24 hours,” Centcom said in a statement.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a major source of information on the plight of noncombatants caught in Syria’s devastating civil war, said it put the death toll in the latest lethal Manbij incident at 28 civilians, including, once again, women and children.
“They were killed when the warplanes of the international coalition committed a massacre in the town of al-Ghandour in the northwestern countryside of Manbij city east of Aleppo province, where the warplanes targeted areas in the town of al-Ghandour, which is more than 23 kilometers away from Manbij city, and the death toll is expected to rise because there are some people in critical situation,” the Observatory said on its English-language website on Thursday.
The Observatory said 13 others were killed in the airstrike. It is not known if those 13 are civilians or members of Isis, which has been fending off ground and air attacks for more than two months from the US and its Syrian allies.
US military officials have said they expect the battle for Manbij to drag on, as Isis has dug into a position both sides consider a critical buffer between US-backed forces and the Isis capital of Raqqa. Manbij has strategic value for another reason: it provides a pathway for Isis to exfiltrate fighters through Turkey to the outside world.
Syrian allies of the US, advancing through extreme fighting, have accumulated terabytes’ worth of digital information on Isis from computers and mobiles left behind in the battle.
On Wednesday, the US military announced that it would formally investigate an airstrike on 19 July, in the nearby village of Tokkhar, that may amount to the US’s bloodiest error of the two-year old war.
Estimates of the dead vary. But multiple Syrian sources, collected by the London-based monitoring group Airwars, put the death toll at at least 74 and at most 205.
While the US military command in Baghdad suggests it might be as low as 10 dead civilians, Airwars’ chief investigator, Chris Woods, told the Guardian the credible maximum is likely to be 120-150 men, women and children dead.
The US has rejected calls by Syrian opposition figures after Tokkhar to halt the bombings for the sake of thousands of civilians trapped in Manbij, as it believes the fall of the city is critical to the overriding objective of capturing Raqqa.
Woods told the Guardian that he assesses the devastation in Manbij to stretch beyond Tokkhar. More than 520 US airstrikes since 21 May have killed between 229 and 425 civilians overall. Woods provided that estimate before Thursday’s announcement.
Centcom said it would continue a preliminary investigation of the latest Manbij incident and then “determine the next appropriate step”.
Its statement continued: “We take all measures during the targeting process to avoid or minimize civilian casualties or collateral damage and to comply with the principles of the Law of Armed Conflict.”
Graphic: Ruthless US Airstrike
Massacres 25-plus Civilians in Northern Aleppo
Leith Fadel / Al-Masdar News
Many of the victims on Thursday were children and elderly civilians that were caught in the middle of an ongoing US.operation to take the town of Menbeij. (Photo Al Masdar News)
(July 29, 2016) — The US Air Force carried out a ruthless series of airstrikes over the ISIS controlled region of northern Aleppo on Thursday, killing over 25 civilians and wounding another 100 bystanders.
According to local reports, the US Coalition struck the densely populated village of Aghanndorh near the ISIS stronghold of Menbeij on Thursday, causing severe damage to a number of civilian sites, including several residential homes.
Images from the brutal airstrikes emerged shortly after the attack, showing several of the victims that were unable to escape the carnage in northern Aleppo.
Many of the victims on Thursday were children and elderly civilians that were caught in the middle of an ongoing US operation to take the town of Menbeij from the Islamic State.
Leith Fadel is Editor-in-Chief Specializing in Near Eastern Affairs and Economics.
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