Civilian deaths reported in ‘successful’ US op in Syria — Analysis

A ‘counterterrorism mission’ within the Idlib province is alleged to have concerned an enormous gun battle

The US navy has confirmed it carried out a counterterrorism operation in northwestern Syria. Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby was brief on particulars, calling the mission a hit and saying the American troops suffered no casualties. Sources on the bottom described a big gun battle to the media, and stated some civilians have been killed.

The US raid focused a home within the village of Atmeh in Syria’s Idlib province close to the border with Turkey, the Related Press stated, citing native sources. The operation concerned helicopters, explosions, and machine gun fireplace, residents informed the company on situation of anonymity.

The US didn’t instantly provide a casualty rely for non-US events. A neighborhood reporter cited by AP stated he noticed at the very least 12 lifeless our bodies on the web site. The identical determine was cited by Al Jazeera sources, which stated the fatalities included seven youngsters and three girls. The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights cited its sources as saying that at the very least 9 individuals have been killed, together with two youngsters and a girl.

Witnesses cited by AP and Al Jazeera stated the assault was the biggest by US forces in Idlib because the October 2019 operation to kill Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, then-leader of the terrorist group Islamic State (IS, previously ISIS).

An AP supply within the Pentagon stated the US misplaced at the very least one helicopter through the mission. The plane malfunctioned and needed to be destroyed by exploding it to maintain it out of the palms of the militants.

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Idlib stays one of many few areas of Syria not underneath authorities management. The area is dominated by varied jihadist forces and was protected by the Turkish authorities from a takeover by Damascus. Ankara cited considerations over civilian casualties and a surge of refugees in case of a navy operation to retake the town of Idlib.

The US didn’t disclose who the Wednesday night operation focused. Washington maintains a navy presence in Syria, claiming it’s essential to hold IS from resurging.

It additionally backs the predominantly Kurdish forces in northeastern Syria to disclaim Damascus management over that a part of the nation. Washington has imposed harsh sanctions in opposition to the Syrian authorities, hindering reconstruction efforts.

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