Outrageous Double Standard: US Strikes in Syria Kill Civilians
By Atara Beck. Source: United with Israel September 29, 2014
US-led strikes on IS territory in Syria reportedly hit civilians the hardest. The hypocrisy is blatant, considering US condemnation of Israel in war with Hamas.
While the US, among other countries, was quick to censure Israel for civilian deaths in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge, reports indicate that American-led strikes in Islamic State-controlled territory in Syria have killed innocent civilians.
In August, for example, during Israel’s defensive war against Hamas terrorists, the IDF received international condemnation for firing at a UN Relief & Works Agency (UNRWA)-administered school, which had been designated as a shelter for civilians. Reports claimed that 10 civilians were killed and dozens wounded.
US Quick to Blame Israel without the Facts
Evidence later emerged, however, that Hamas had staged the deaths by bringing dead bodies to the site after the IDF fired at terrorists just outside the school.
Nevertheless State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki was quick to condemn Israel, stating:
"The United States is appalled by today’s disgraceful [attack] outside a UNRWA school in Rafah sheltering some 3,000 displaced persons, in which at least 10 more Palestinian civilians were tragically killed … We once again stress that Israel do more to meet its own standards and avoid civilian casualties."
In another instance, when the IDF was searching for the three Israeli boys that were kidnapped by Hamas terrorists in June and subsequently found murdered, US President Obama was urging "restraint."
US Strikes Reportedly Killed Only Civilians and No Fighters
Meanwhile, on Monday, a Reuters article quotes Rami Abdulrahman of the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, who said that overnight US strikes in Syria claimed the lives of civilians and that no terrorist fighters were killed.
"The aircraft may have mistaken the mills and grain storage areas in the northern Syrian town of Manbij for an Islamic State base," the Observatory stated, as quoted by Reuters.
The casualties "were the workers at the silos," Abdulrahman told Reuters. "They provide food for the people."
The US military claimed that Islamic State vehicles were adjacent to the grain storage facility and that there was no proof of civilian casualties, Reuters adds.
According to a Human Rights Watch report regarding previous attacks last week, "apparent US missile strikes on Idlib [province] in Syria killed at least seven civilians," and an investigation should be pursued "for possible violations of the laws of war."
Furthermore, Nadim Houry, deputy Middle East and North Africa director, stated:
"The United States and its allies in Syria should be taking all feasible precautions to avoid harming civilians. The US government should investigate possible unlawful strikes that killed civilians, publicly report on them, and commit to appropriate redress measures in case of wrongdoing."
No World Condemnation
The US was not alone in slamming Israel for an alleged "disproportionate" response to Hamas terrorists in Gaza who had been firing missiles into Israel incessantly over the summer and built massive terror tunnels designated for kidnapping and murdering Israeli soldiers and civilians.
The fact that Hamas also used human shields, forcing innocent Palestinian men, women and children into missile-launching areas – such as the UNRWA school, hospitals and kindergartens – in order to incriminate Israel for their deaths has been substantiated. Even under these circumstances, the IDF did its best to prevent human casualties; for example, they distributed leaflets warning residents to leave the area.
Will a UN Commission Investigate US War Crimes?
There is no indication that the US attempted to evacuate innocent Syrian civilians before attacking centers of terror.
In early September, the UN established the Schabas Commission to investigate alleged Israeli war crimes. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the time called the UN a "hypocritical organization."
It remains to be see whether a similar probe will be demanded for American war crimes against innocent Syrians. To date, such investigations have been limited to the Jewish state.