Defense Department News

Centcom: Strike in Syria May Have Caused Civilian Casualties

Aug. 24, 2016

A strike yesterday on an Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant weapons facility near Raqqah, Syria, may have resulted in civilian casualties, according to U.S. Central Command’s own post-strike assessment.

U.S. Central Command
U.S. Central Command
U.S. Central Command
Photo By: U.S. Central Command
VIRIN: 160707-D-ZZ999-333

Centcom’s internal assessment of possible civilian casualties in this incident has been deemed credible, officials said. The incident will be reviewed at the joint task force level, they added, at which point officials will decide whether an investigation is needed.

Reports indicate that what appeared to be a nonmilitary vehicle drove into the target area after the weapon was released from the aircraft, Centcom officials said, and the vehicle’s occupants may have been killed.

“Centcom has extensive processes and techniques in place to avoid or minimize civilian casualties,” officials said in a statement announcing the incident. “Every report of civilian casualties, from either internal or external sources, is scrutinized regarding possible casualties and collateral damage. Assessments that are determined to be credible are reviewed as to whether the actions comply with the principles of the Law of Armed Conflict.”