A U.S. airstrike that was ignored by the mainstream media killed at least 50 Syrian civilians late December, in an attack on Islamic State headquarters, according to an eyewitness and a Syrian opposition human rights organization.
According to reports, the civilians were killed near the Turkish border in the town of Al Bab, on the night of December 28th, 2014. Many of those who lost their lives were in a Syrian public building called the Al Saraya.
This attack was not listed in official reports made by the White House, but was confirmed by local activists and human rights organizations. Central Command spokesman Ryder apologized to reporters that the airstrike was not on the official list and blamed it on an “administrative oversight.”
According to some reports, this was the largest civilian massacre that the US has carried out since it began bombing Syria.
“A while later, I heard the sound of a massive explosion. The whole city shook, there was shooting in the streets, and the Islamic State used loudspeakers to announce a curfew. The sound of ambulances could be heard all night,” a witness told reporters.
Huda al Ali, a spokeswoman for the Syrian Network, said that the building was acting as a prison, and was housing people who were guilty of breaking Sharia Law, but they were still civilians, not militants, and not affiliated with ISIS. In fact, only a small portion of the people killed in the attack were actually ISIS fighters.
“The missile was very powerful and destroyed the building completely. According to the information we gathered, 80 bodies were found after the strike, 25 of them are Islamic State fighters and the rest are prisoners,” al Ali said.
The Pentagon has responded to the claims, admitting that there were civilian casualties in the attack.
“This is something we always take seriously. We are very mindful of trying to mitigate the risk to civilians every time we operate, everywhere we operate,” Pentagon spokesman Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby said in a statement.
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