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Gareth Porter

US Strikes on Syrian Troops: Report Data Contradicts 'Mistake' Claims

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The summary report on an investigation into US and allied air strikes on Syrian government troops has revealed irregularities in decision-making consistent with a deliberate targeting of Syrian forces.

The report, released by US Central Command on 29 November, shows that senior US Air Force officers at the Combined Air Operations Center (CAOC) at al-Udeid Airbase in Qatar, who were responsible for the decision to carry out the September airstrike at Deir Ezzor:

misled the Russians about where the US intended to strike so Russia could not warn that it was targeting Syrian troops

ignored information and intelligence analysis warning that the positions to be struck were Syrian government rather than Islamic State

shifted abruptly from a deliberate targeting process to an immediate strike in violation of normal Air Force procedures

Last week Brig. Gen. Richard Coe, the lead US official on the investigating team, told reporters that US air strikes in Deir Ezzor on 17 September, which killed at least 62 - and possibly more than 100 - Syrian army troops, was the unintentional result of “human error.”
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