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U.S. Kills Over 100 Syrian Fighters In ‘Self Defense’

This article was originally published in Antiwar.com [1] 

On Wednesday, U.S. forces claimed that they attacked Syrian forces “in self-defense.” New details are now emerging about the incident, suggesting both that the Syrian attack was far overstated, and the U.S. retaliation was overwhelmingly excessive.

Syria putatively “attacked” a SDF base where U.S. troops were, though in reality the artillery strikes were half a kilometer away from the base, which explains why there were no casualties. The U.S., on the other hand, attacked a Syrian pro-government patrol in the area, and killed in excess of 100 fighters in the attack [2].

100 people is a lot to kill, particularly since the U.S. supposedly isn’t at war with Syria. This does, however, reflect the mission creep in Syria, as the defeat of ISIS has meant the U.S. forces there [3]need a new justification to stay, and fighting the Assad government looks to be it, with the Pentagon already saying part of their pretext for staying is to ensure regime change.

Syria, meanwhile, has gone to the UN Security Council to complain over the U.S. massacre of what were apparently members of a pro-government militia that had been fighting ISIS, and was at the time of the attack engaged in a search-and-rescue operation [4].

Russia’s Defense Ministry also issued a statement condemning the U.S. attack, saying it proved the U.S. isn’t interested in fighting ISIS, but rather in trying to seize control of Syria’s economic assets through military means.

Jason Ditz is news editor at Antiwar.com [5], a nonprofit organization dedicated to the cause of non-interventionism. His work has also appeared in Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Daily Caller, Washington Times and Detroit Free Press.


12 Comments (Open | Close)

12 Comments To "U.S. Kills Over 100 Syrian Fighters In ‘Self Defense’"

#1 Comment By peter On February 9, 2018 @ 3:45 pm

If this is true, I am a very disappointed Trump voter…

#2 Comment By Someone in the crowd On February 9, 2018 @ 11:48 pm

Why has there been so little follow up on Gareth Porter’s article (June 22, 2017), in these pages, regarding how the U.S. government used the chaos in Libya to send arms to destabilize Syria? Shouldn’t that point be repeated, frequently, to contextualize current US actions in Syria?

And shouldn’t it alarm everyone that: A) this research by Gareth Porter, though almost certainly true in broad outline, goes completely unmentioned in mainstream reports, which repeat government propaganda as if it were holy writ?; and B) though the populace, twice now (first with Obama, then with Trump) was given to understand that their candidate was opposed to the neo-con war policy, have seen their choice nullified by the unelected national security state? What an inspiring vision this country presents to the world! What a fine democracy! What wisdom!

#3 Comment By Fran Macadam On February 10, 2018 @ 1:01 am

Sucked under, into the quicksand of the Deep State Swamp, by the unelected mucky-mucks.

#4 Comment By Stephen J. On February 10, 2018 @ 10:34 am

The U.S. is in Syria illegally and should be subject to sanctions. Oh. I forgot the U.S. does as it pleases. Daniel Larson hit the mark when he said:
“By attacking pro-regime forces and killing dozens of their men, the U.S. has committed acts of war against another government on its own soil without Congressional or U.N. authorization.” Daniel Larson, February 8, 2018.

#5 Comment By EliteCommInc. On February 10, 2018 @ 11:45 am

“If this is true, I am a very disappointed Trump voter…”

An understatement, not to mention,

we have no business violating the territorial sovereignty (air space included) of Syria.

#6 Comment By Anne Mendoza On February 10, 2018 @ 12:48 pm

It defies belief that the U.S. is expanding its military footprint in a part of the world where we have been defeated, repeatedly. I am beginning to suspect that our military presence in the region has a great deal to do with trouble making to serve Israel’s interests and nothing whatsoever to do with democracy promotion or “winning,” whatever that is.

#7 Comment By jk On February 10, 2018 @ 3:59 pm

It’s almost impressive how deftly US discourse swings from expressing indignation at other countries for interfering in our politics to casually suggesting sending the US military to invade other countries to changes its government & impose one it likes better & then back again.

-From [7]

#8 Comment By CRMH On February 10, 2018 @ 5:11 pm

When are we going to learn? We are being dragged into a potentially catastrophic war that MOST Americans DO NOT WANT! Not to mention a war we cannot afford. Will we continue to ignore the home front while our resources are wasted in Syria? Syria??!?!?!?! I worry about our comeuppance.

#9 Comment By Useful idiot who voted GOP On February 10, 2018 @ 6:26 pm

As a trump voter I admit I cherry picked his campaign statements. I believed he would keep us out of war in Syria and other places. This was foolish, very foolish on my part. Our nation is rotten at its core. Why shouldn’t we have a soviet style military parade down Pennsylvania Avenue? Anyone take a look at our list of military interventions since 1776? It’s amazing.

#10 Comment By prdoucette On February 12, 2018 @ 4:33 pm

This US action really has nothing to do with any response to the claimed provocation but is rather just another example of psychological warfare dreamed up to try to send a message to Syria, Russia and Iran that they should not start thinking Syria can return to its former borders or that Iran should assume it can implement its goal of having de facto control over Syria and Lebanon. Unfortunately Trump seems to think that the use of military might is the only way to achieve and prove ones power and as long the Saudis and the Israelis keep him convinced that Iran is the evil empire in the region, expecting the US will in any way remove itself from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan or the Middle East in general is a pipe dream.

#11 Comment By Duke Powell On February 13, 2018 @ 6:39 pm

A half of kilometer is about 550 yards. With today’s munitions, this is Syria purposely provoking American troops with attempting not to inflict casualties.

Seems that the United States is not going to play that game anymore. Shoot at us, or any where near us, and we are going to retaliate in a manner that sends a message.

Message was sent, it seems.

#12 Comment By Take Five On February 14, 2018 @ 6:12 pm

“Seems that the United States is not going to play that game anymore. Shoot at us, or any where near us, and we are going to retaliate in a manner that sends a message. Message was sent, it seems.”

Okay. But here’s the message we’re sending: “For reasons neither we nor our allies can agree on, and which the American public does not support, we have illegally entered your country and are standing up to our neck in dog-poop with no f***king idea what we’re doing. Don’t shoot at or near us while we’re doing that or we’ll kill you.”

It’s an odd sort of message, don’t you think?