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Pentagon Orders Probe of 2019 Airstrikes in Syria That Killed Dozens
Two U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle aircraft fly over northern Iraq Sept. 23, 2014, after conducting airstrikes in Syria. (Department of Defense photo by Senior Airman Matthew Bruch, U.S. Air Force\via Flickr)

Pentagon Orders Probe of 2019 Airstrikes in Syria That Killed Dozens

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has ordered an investigation into the US military airstrike in eastern Syria that killed dozens of civilians, including women and children, and fighters for the Islamic State or ISIS. Gen. Michael Garrett, the commander of US Army Forces Command at Fort Bragg, N.C., will head the probe, Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby announced on Monday.

Garrett will determine whether the strike was legal, whether proper procedures were followed before and after the airstrike, and whether initial reviews of the incident were conducted properly. He has 90 days in which to file a report with Austin.

A New York Times investigation, citing  anonymous sources and classified documents, published earlier this month that the US military covered up the airstrikes, that had been ordered by a classified special forces task force that was conducting ground operations in the area. The report noted that the attack could amount to a possible war crime. The military tried to conceal the strikes by Task Force 9, downplayed the death toll and “delayed, sanitized and classified” reports about the airstrikes, according to the Times. The US Central Command in response to the report said that the airstrikes were “legitimate self-defense,” proportional, and that “appropriate steps were taken to rule out the presence of civilians.”

The probe comes on the heels of an investigation completed earlier this month that concluded that there was no misconduct in an Aug. 29 drone strike in Kabul, Afghanistan that killed 10 civilians.

Give the Gift of Truth This Jewish New Year

The Media Line has been leading for more than twenty years in pioneering the American independent news agency in the Middle East, arguably the first in the region. We have always stayed true to our mission: to provide you with contextual sourced and trustworthy news. In an age of fake news masquerading as journalism, The Media Line plays a crucial role in providing fact-based news that deserves your support.

We're proud of the dozens of young students we've trained in our Press and Policy Student Program who will form the vanguard of the next generation of journalists to the benefit of countless millions of news readers.

Non-profit news needs public support. please help us with your generous contributions.
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