US to investigate civilian deaths following airstrikes in Syria
The US said Thursday that it was investigating reports of civilian casualties following a coalition airstrike in northwest Syria.
“We are aware of civilian casualty reports surrounding Atmeh and are looking into them,” Pentagon spokeswoman Elissa Smith said in a statement. “We take all reports of non-combatant casualties seriously and look into each one received or reported.”
Local civil defense teams in Syria reported Tuesday that dozens of residents, including women and children, had been killed overnight in US-coalition airstrikes on the Syrian village of Atmeh.
CENTCOM, the US Middle East command, confirmed to Anadolu Agency on Wednesday that it had conducted a “deliberate airstrike” in the vicinity of Aleppo, including Atmeh.
The Pentagon has maintained that it thoroughly vets airstrike targets.
“We apply very rigorous standards in our targeting process to avoid or minimize civilian casualties in the first place–to include analysis of available intelligence to selection of the appropriate weapons to meet mission requirements with the goal to minimize the risk of collateral damage and, in particular, potential harm to non-combatants,” Smith said