Centcom admits accidentally targeting civilians in ISIS airstrike

ARABIAN GULF (Aug. 21, 2016) An F/A-18C Hornet assigned to the Wildcats of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 131 launches from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) (Ike). Ike and its Carrier Strike Group are deployed in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Dartez C. Williams)

An airstrike yesterday on an ISIS weapons facility near Raqqah, Syria, may have resulted in civilian casualties, according to the U.S. Central Command.

Apparently a nonmilitary vehicle drove into the “kill zone” after the weapons were already released from the aircraft.  Centcom officials were not able to confirm that the vehicle’s occupants were killed but the incident will be reviewed at the joint task force level to determine if an investigation is necessary.

“Centcom has extensive processes and techniques in place to avoid or minimize civilian casualties,” officials said in a statement announcing the incident. “Every report of civilian casualties, from either internal or external sources, is scrutinized regarding possible casualties and collateral damage.  Assessments that are determined to be credible are reviewed as to whether the actions comply with the principles of the Law of Armed Conflict.”

U.S. and coalition military forces conducted a total of thirteen airstrikes in Syria yesterday.   Three strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed a fighting position, a tactical vehicle and a vehicle bomb near Shadaddi.  Four airstrikes struck two ISIS pump jacks near Raqqah and two well heads near Day Az Zawr.  Near Manbij, seven strikes struck six separate ISIL tactical units, destroying a fighting position, a vehicle, a command-and-control node and three mortar systems.

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  • Michael Swaney

    Michael is an Army veteran and the Director of Content for Bright Mountain Media LLC

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