US strike kills 18 Kurdish fighters in Syria

Anti-ISIL coalition offers condolences for ‘tragic' misfire on partner forces

US strike kills 18 Kurdish fighters in Syria

World Bulletin / News Desk

An airstrike by the U.S.-led anti-ISIL coalition killed 18 Washington-allied Kurdish fighters in Syria, the American military said in a statement Thursday.

The strike mistook a forward Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) position south of Tabqah for a ISIL target, U.S. Central Command said of the “tragic” incident. The mainly Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are backed by the US in the fight to retake Raqqa from ISIL.

“The Coalition’s deepest condolences go out to the members of the SDF and their families,” the statement said. “The Coalition is in close contact with our SDF partners who have expressed a strong desire to remain focused on the fight against ISIS despite this tragic incident.”

The strike marks the third time in a month the U.S. or its partners have struck civilians or allies with deadly consequences.

In mid-March, dozens of civilians were reportedly killed when a mosque was hit in Aleppo. The U.S. military said it targeted an al-Qaeda meeting in the area but promptly opened an investigation into civilian deaths.

Within days another airstrike in Mosul, Iraq, reportedly killed more than 100 civilians when a U.S. airstrike is believed to have destroyed a building. That strike is also under investigation.

Coalition commander Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend said in late March that the U.S. military “probably had a role in these casualties” as international organizations have urged the coalition to put a stop to mounting civilian casualties.

The misdirected strikes have led to questions about whether the rules of engagement in anti-Daesh efforts have been relaxed under President Donald Trump, who promised an unrelenting campaign against the terror group.

The military has rejected those suggestions.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 13 Nisan 2017, 19:19
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