Demand Investigation Into Airstrike That Killed 56 Civilians

U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles, from the 389th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, like the ones shown here, helped provide 176 consecutive hours of air support and drop more than 100 bombs in support of Operation Hammer Down II. Air Force close air support assets played a critical role in the success of the operation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Michael B. Keller)

Target: President Barack Obama

Goal: Open and independent and transparent investigation into the coalition airstrike outside of Manbij, which reportedly killed dozens of civilians.

A U.S. airstrike in Syria has reportedly killed dozens of civilians, injuring dozens more. The bombing occurred in an area outside of the Northern Syrian town of Manbij, a town currently besieged by forces backed by the U.S. and its allies. Those killed in the strike were initially labeled as ISIS fighters, however reports and images quickly emerged countering that claim. The Syrian Observatory of Human Rights, a leading human rights organization in Syria, now estimates 56 people were killed in the strike, including 11 children. Those killed were most likely civilians fleeing the fighting or attempting to leave ISIS held territory.

Currently, the U.S. military has confirmed that the bombing campaign in Syria has resulted in 36 civilian deaths since the summer of 2015. This number is far lower than those proposed by independent observers such as Airwars, which estimates that the campaign has resulted in closer to 1,422 civilian deaths in Iraq and Syria. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights estimates that the bombing campaign has killed 104 civilians since May. The divergence between the numbers estimated by the U.S. military and those of independent observers speaks to a need for an independent and transparent investigation of the airstrike and the methodology used to determine civilian casualties caused by airstrikes. Sign our petition and demand such an investigation.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear President Obama,

I am writing to urge you to establish an independent and transparent inquiry into the 19 July 2016 airstrike outside of Manbij, Syria, which reportedly killed 56 civilians. If the reports are true, the victims of this strike were not in proximity of any military target and were in the process of fleeing the area. I was dismayed to see the attempts by the SDF and the YPG to claim that those killed in the strike were militants associated with ISIS. Making unsubstantiated and later disproven claims reveals either a lack of good intelligence, or a willful attempt to manipulate the narrative.

As you know, the U.S. military reports that the bombing campaign in Syria has resulted in 36 civilian deaths since 2015 — a number that is almost universally disputed as being too low to be credible. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights estimates 104 civilians killed since May. Again, this discrepancy either speaks to a worrying deficit in accurate intelligence, or a willful misrepresentation of the facts. I believe this speaks to a need for an independent and transparent investigation into the July 19th airstrike, as well as the general methods used by the military to report civilian casualties.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: DVIDSHUB

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One Comment

  1. Jenna Miles says:

    When we fight terrorists, let’s avoid becoming them.

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