Drone attack in Syria: US military killed civilians instead of al-Qaeda terrorists

Drone attack in Syria: US military killed civilians instead of al-Qaeda terrorists

The target was a terrorist – but shortly after the attack there were doubts that the US military had actually killed an al-Qaeda leader in an attack in Syria. Now there is certainty.

The US military says it accidentally killed a civilian in a drone attack in Syria around a year ago. The actual aim of the attack in northwestern Syria was to kill a high-ranking leader of the terrorist militia al-Qaeda, the US Central Command (Centcom) said. However, an investigation revealed that the target was misidentified and a civilian was killed instead.

The Washington Post reported that it was a shepherd. The newspaper had already reported doubts about the Pentagon’s official account and wrote that a shepherd had been killed instead of a terrorist.

The man was looking after his sheep in a rural area when he was chased by an armed drone. The newspaper wrote that it fired a rocket and killed the shepherd and several of his sheep.

US Central Command: Determined to “Improve Targeting Procedures”

The attack was carried out in accordance with the Law of Armed Conflict and Ministry of Defense guidelines, Centcom said. “However, the investigation identified several points for improvement.” However, for secret service reasons, no further details could be revealed, it said. “We are committed to learning from this incident and improving our targeting procedures to reduce potential harm to civilians.” The US military reportedly interviewed more than 40 witnesses during its investigation.

Source: Stern

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