UPDATED: US Strikes In Syria Blow Up Grain Silos and Kill Civilians
UPDATE: White House exempts Syria airstrikes from tight standards on civilian deaths. See now, it’s all good.
The White House has acknowledged for the first time that strict standards President Obama imposed last year to prevent civilian deaths from U.S. drone strikes will not apply to U.S. military operations in Syria and Iraq.
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) September 24, 2014
You’re welcome. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, US-led airstrikes in Syria have targeted more than hyped terrorist groups. The war monitoring organization claims that the military strikes hit grain silos, killing civilian workers who help distribute food to the Syrian population struggling to survive under difficult conditions.
Food shortages have become a major humanitarian issue as economic dislocations from the Syrian civil war have put considerable pressure on the food supply. Last year the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned that the civil war had virtually destroyed the farming sector. Output has fallen making every silo that much more crucial.
The aircraft may have mistaken the mills and grain storage areas in the northern Syrian town of Manbij for an Islamic State base, said the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. There was no immediate comment from Washington…
The strikes in Manbij appeared to have killed only civilians, not fighters, said Rami Abdulrahman, who runs the Observatory which gathers information from sources in Syria.“These were the workers at the silos. They provide food for the people,” he said. He could not give a number of casualties and it was not immediately possible to verify the information.
The US strikes also hit a gas plant in eastern Syria – likely on purpose – which knocked out power for a number of provinces and to oil fields that relied on a power station in Homs. Denying ISIS oil riches is part of the “degrade and destroy” plan, whether blowing up the grain silos was intentional or a mistake is unknown. Though the difference between attacking the food supply and knocking out the power is a subtle one.
Remember when this was being sold as a humanitarian intervention?