The Pentagon unveiled a new investigation on Monday in a 2019 air strike that killed civilians in Syria, two weeks after a New York Times investigation claimed that American troops had hidden a large number of former soldiers.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has instructed Army General Michael Garrett to “review reports that have already been investigated and” to conduct further investigations into the facts and circumstances surrounding it, “said Pentagon spokesman John Kirby.
Garrett’s three-month review will examine “the public nuisance caused by the incident,
compliance with military law, record keeping and reporting procedures, ”added Kirby.
It will also investigate whether the steps taken after the previous investigation have been successfully implemented, if “retaliatory measures” should be taken and if “procedures or procedures should be changed.”
According to a Times investigation published in mid-November, a U.S. special forces force operating in Syria – sometimes secretly – detonated a group of civilians three times on March 18, 2019, near the Islamic State (IS) base in Baghouz, killing 70 people. , especially women and children.
A report in the Times of the United States states that a US lawmaker has “dismissed the strike as a possible war crime” but said that “almost every step of the way, the military has taken steps to cover up this catastrophic strike.”
The Times found that the strike was “one of the biggest casualties in the war against the Islamic State,” but US troops have never been publicly sanctioned.
“The death toll has dropped. Reports are delayed, cleared and separated. United States-led coalition forces stormed the blast site. And senior leaders have not been notified, “the report said, adding that the Pentagon’s findings” have been suspended and removed from any referendum. ”
A statement issued by the Pentagon following the report states that an initial investigation into the incident by the US Army Central Command, which oversees military operations in the Middle East, found that strikes were “protective,” “equitable” and “appropriate action.” were taken to exclude civilians. ”
The US-led coalition and Kurdish-led allies announced the defeat of the IS proto-state, known as the “caliphate,” at the end of March 2019 after defeating the last jihadist in Baghous.