The Trump administration’s reckless disregard for human life has claimed even more innocents. The Syrian Human Rights Watch reports that the US coalition launched a deadly airstrike against the al-Badiah school in al-Mansoura, Raqqa governate, Syria, killing at least 33 and possibly as many as 183 victims.
It was only one of a staggering 18 different airstrikes conducted on the areas surrounding the Daesh (ISIS/ISIL) capital of Raqqa by the US-led Coalition Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR):
Near Ar Raqqah, 18 strikes engaged two ISIS tactical units and an ISIS staging area; destroyed four command and control nodes, three tanker trucks, three ISIS-held buildings, an oil storage tank, a VBIED, an ISIS headquarters, a fighting position, and an ISIS media facility; and damaged four supply routes.
But the al-Badiah school was not an “ISIS-held building;” local activist groups and Syrian state media report that it was being used to shelter at least 50 refugee families.
“There were only two survivors from this. And they have still been buried. Most of these people, maybe all of them, had taken shelter in this building from the fighting and the planes. They were hiding for their lives” mourns a witness.
Those refugees were fleeing the firestorm of violence that is about to engulf Raqqa as the US military and units from the Kurdish/Syrian Arab coalition Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) advance on the Daesh-held city. al-Mansoura is in between Raqqah and the Tabqah dam – the first target of the coalition’s advance.
SDF and US troops landed on peninsula west of Tabqa via boats and helicopters and captured Abu Horaira village
— Syrian Civil War Map (@CivilWarMap) March 22, 2017
This massacre comes just a week after the United States killed at least fifty civilians after bombing a mosque in al-Jinah while ostensibly targeting rebels fighting for al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate, Jabhat Fatah-al Sham.
While nobody is denying the need to liberate Raqqa and the surrounding areas, President Trump’s recklessly loose rules of engagement has led to the death of over a hundred innocent people in less than a week. He has publicly stated that he will “bomb the sh*t” out of Daesh and is willing to kill their families – and it’s clear that he wasn’t kidding.
The United States military loves its so-called “precision strike” program – but it’s clear that the human cost of the bombing campaigns against “terrorism” is horrifically high. For the US to take out 41 “dangerous terrorists,” 1,137 civilians died alongside them.
Yes, President Obama is responsible for the majority of those deaths. But under President Trump demanded and received, we are murdering civilians at a shocking rate. just like the Russians that President Trump admires so much.
Featured image via Reuters
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.