AntiWar.com & Abdullah Ben Ibrahim / The Libya Observer – 2018-06-07 16:59:40
Locals Say US Airstrike in Libya Killed Three Civilians
AFRICOM claims all slain were ISIS members
Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com
(June 6, 2018) — A US airstrike on Wednesday near Bani Walid, in northern Libya, destroyed a vehicle and killed four people. One of them was identified as Abdul-Ati Estewi, a member of ISIS. The other three victims are a matter of dispute.
US African Command (AFRICOM) are claiming that all four were ISIS members, and that the strike was done in coordination with the unity government in Tripoli. Locals in Bani Walid, however, say that’s not the case at all.
Instead of ISIS members, the locals say Estewi was traveling with three members of his own family at the time, all of them civilians, and that they’d gotten together for a Ramadan Iftar. AFRICOM has said nothing indicating they intend to investigate.
This has been a common issue in US air wars, that if even a single person in a group is identified as a militant, the entire group is assumed to be within that group. That a militant might spend time with his family is never even considered by the US, and accountability is unlikely.
AFRICOM Conducts Airstrike
Northwest of Libya, Civilian Casualties Reported
(June 6, 2018) — US Africa Command (Africom) said it conducted on Wednesday “a precision airstrike” near Bani Walid town killing four “ISIS militants.”
It said in a statement “we assess no civilians were killed in this strike,” adding that the airstrike was coordinated with “the Libyan Government of National Accord.”
Meanwhile, a source from Bani Walid confirmed to The Libya Observer that three civilians and one ISIS fugitive — all from Bani Walid — were killed in the airstrike.
The source identified the ISIS fugitive, who was fighting in Sirte, as Abdul-Ati Eshtewi and the three civilians as his relatives.
“Eshtewi and his three relatives haven’t seen each other for long time, so Eshtewi contacted them using Thuraya phone to have Ramadan Iftar with them in Eshmikh, some 35 km south of Bani Walid town.” The source said.
The three civilians were identified as Matouq Milad, Mohammed Abu Sittah and Salim Daroue.
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