A “Surge” in the U.S. Slaughter of Syrian and Iraqi Civilians

U.S. Massacre in Syria: Mosque Bombed, Hundreds Killed or Wounded

March 26, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


Thursday evening, March 16, hundreds of residents in the town of Al-Jineh, Syria, gathered in a newly built mosque for evening prayers. After prayers were over, many men gathered for religious classes.

Suddenly the night was shattered by a U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) air strike. According to the Washington Post, at least two Reaper drones unleashed their full load of Hellfire missiles, followed by a 500-pound bomb. A village resident told Reuters that he heard “powerful explosions when the mosque was hit ... I saw 15 bodies and lots of body parts in the debris ... we couldn’t even recognize some of the bodies.”

The mosque was largely flattened. According to the pro-Western Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, 46 people, mainly civilians, were killed. The Observatory called it “a massacre.” Reports from the scene Thursday night told of rescuers desperately trying to dig out dozens more who were trapped under a collapsed wall.

CENTCOM admitted to carrying out the bombing attack, but claimed it did not target the mosque, instead a building in which “high-level al-Qaeda” operatives were meeting. (In addition to destroying the mosque, the raid also hit another building next to it. Another older mosque was across the street from that building.)

People flee their homes from Mosul, Iraq, October 18October 18, 2016. Smoke rises as people flee their homes at the beginning of the U.S.-led assault to re-take the northern Iraqi city of Mosul from the Islamic State group (ISIS). (AP photo)

It is not clear at this point whether CENTCOM meant to hit one building or the other or all three. But it is absolutely clear that this was a massive bombing attack on a busy civilian area with not one, not two, but three religious buildings in the immediate vicinity, and that the raid was carried out directly after evening prayers. In other words, the near certainty that civilians would be slaughtered did not stop the U.S. military from unleashing its massive, deadly bombardment.

200 Civilians Killed by U.S. Air Strikes in Mosul

On March 17, more than 200 civilians were killed in a series of U.S. bombing attacks in the Iraqi city of Mosul. According to the March 25 New York Times, Iraqi officers spotted snipers on the roofs of three homes in the city’s Jidideh neighborhood. A U.S. air strike was called in, which proceeded to level the three homes, killing hundreds of people who had been huddling for safety in the basements.

A battle has been raging in an around Mosul for months as U.S.-supported Iraqi forces (as well as other fighters) are attempting to drive out the ISIL/Islamic State which seized the city in 2014. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians are trapped, and thousands have been killed in the near-constant U.S. bombing and artillery attacks, which rain explosives down on the terrorized population in ISIL-occupied areas.

So in all likelihood these Iraqi civilians were seeking safety in the basements from the torrent of U.S. bombs and shells.

This may be “the highest civilian death tolls in an American air mission since the United States invaded Iraq in 2003,” the New York Times reports, and it’s coming amid what the newspaper calls a “surge of reported civilian deaths” in Iraq and Syria—two countries that the U.S. is not even officially at war with.

A “Surge” in the U.S. Slaughter of Syrian and Iraqi Civilians

There is a widespread sense that this “surge” in the slaughter of civilians in Syria and Iraq is the product of President Trump’s “relaxation” of the “rules of engagement”—in other words, giving military commanders more freedom to rain death and destruction with even less concern for civilian casualties than previously. The Pentagon denies there’s been such a change, but one Iraqi Special Forces officer told the New York Times that there has been a “noticeable relaxing of the coalition’s rules of engagement since President Trump took office.”

In other words, U.S. imperialism’s rules of operation, which have always been savage, have now gotten even more barbaric: “exterminate” the enemy, don’t worry about how many civilians get massacred in the process.

This is what the world’s people are facing with the fascist Trump/Pence regime.



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