The New York Times reveals a war crime committed by American forces in Syria
The American newspaper “New York Times” published a report, in which it revealed that the American forces had committed a heinous war crime against dozens of Syrian civilians in the village of “Al-Baghouz” in the countryside of Deir Ezzor, via aerial bombardment that deliberately targeted a gathering of those civilians, including women and children.
The newspaper’s report stated that the aerial bombardment was during the last days of ISIS in the village of “Al-Baghuz”, specifically on March 19, 2019, when a drone was flying in the air of the village, spotting a large crowd of women and children who were gathered on the bank of the Euphrates River in the vicinity of the village.
Without prior warning to civilians, an American F-15 fighter bombed the gathering of civilians on the river bank, dropping a 500-pound bomb over them, after which the plane turned around and dropped another 2,000-pound bomb, according to the newspaper report.
The newspaper also stated that its information indicates that the number of victims of the US bombing amounted to /70/ civilians, and there were officers at Al-Udeid Air Base in the State of Qatar, watching the massacre committed with great confusion.
The newspaper quoted an American officer from the “Al Udeid” base saying that when the civilians were bombed, everyone looked in shock, and in the meantime, one of the officers wrote through a security chat system used at the base, asking who carried out the strike, to which another replied: “We have just shot down 50 women and children!”.
The newspaper stressed that the United States did not admit the committed crime, and the Ministry of Defense has worked to hide it from media, despite informing the American forces present in Syria about its outcome and the number of victims.
The newspaper added that the number of civilian casualties was evident almost immediately to military officials, in an operation that a legal officer described as a possible war crime that required an investigation, but at almost every step to open the file of this strike, the American defense was delaying reports on it.
The newspaper also revealed that the American forces present in Syria razed the site of the explosion without informing their senior commanders of that, in an attempt to hide the details of the crime they did, noting that the independent inspector general in the Ministry of Defense had previously tried to open an investigation into the incident, but the report containing the results of the air strike have been disabled and stripped of any indication of its existence, according to the newspaper.
Despite this, the New York Times confirmed that it had collected details of the strikes over months from confidential documents and descriptions of confidential reports, as well as interviews with individuals directly involved and officials with top-secret security clearances who discussed the incident on condition of anonymity.
The newspaper’s investigation concluded that the targeting was carried out upon the orders of a secret US special operations unit that was present in Syria called “Division 9”, which is primarily responsible for the crime committed against civilians, and the work of that division is considered secret, as it sometimes carries out its attacks without informing Its military partners, meaning that the “Al-Baghouz” massacre was not acknowledged by the US Air Force Command in Qatar, rather they were watching the strike during its implementation via a drone that had nothing to do with the fighter that carried out the targeting.
In the face of the new facts related to the war crime committed by the American forces in Syria, the US Central Command’s response to the New York Times was limited to acknowledging the strike for the first time since 2019, claiming that not all of the targets were civilians, rather /16/ “ISIS” armed men were killed in the raid that killed 80 people as a total, without providing any evidence to the validity of these allegations.