The U.S. Killed 105 Civilians In Iraq, But Hardly Anyone Is Talking About It

by John Haltiwanger

On Thursday, the U.S. military admitted an airstrike it conducted in Mosul, Iraq on March 17, 2017 killed at least 105 civilians.

U.S. Central Command (CentCom) said it was targeting two ISIS snipers with a "precision-guided munition," but the strike inadvertently detonated explosives the militants had placed in the building, BBC News reports.

In the process, over 100 civilians were killed as the building collapsed.

"Our condolences go out to all those that were affected," Major General Joe Martin said in a statement. "The coalition takes every feasible measure to protect civilians from harm."

But critics feel this airstrike, and the devastating consequences, reveals the U.S. has been reckless with its use of airpower in congested urban areas like Mosul, particularly since Donald Trump became president.

In response to this development, Samah Hadid, Amnesty International's Middle East Deputy Director of campaigns, said,

While we welcome the US investigation into the...airstrike, we are curious to know whether any lessons were learned and what steps were taken to ensure such horrors do not occur again. We are in no position at this stage to confirm or deny the results of the US investigation. But as long as the conflict in Iraq is still raging, we call on Iraqi and US-led coalition forces to desist from using explosive weapons with wide area effects, including artillery and mortars in crowded residential areas and to take all feasible precautions to avoid civilian casualties.

Meanwhile, there doesn't seem to be a great deal of discussion about this among the U.S. public.

In spite of the large number of civilian deaths from the U.S. airstrike, hardly anyone is talking about it.

This story was not a top trend on Twitter on Thursday, nor was it among trending searches on Google.

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Is this is a sign of ignorance of what's being done with U.S. tax dollars in the Middle East, or just indifference?

Perhaps it's a mixture of both.

But there's a strong case to be that made airstrikes that kill civilians aid the cause of terrorist organizations like ISIS.

This is hardly the first time a U.S. airstrike has resulted in the loss of civilian lives.

At the end of April, the Pentagon said at least 352 civilians had been killed in Iraq and Syria by U.S.-led strikes against ISIS targets since it began targeting the terrorist organization in 2014.

But it's hard to get completely accurate numbers on civilian deaths in a war zone, and some independent estimates are much higher.

The Pentagon investigation into the March strike that killed at least 105 civilians put the "primary blame on ISIS," according to The New York Times.

But, one is left to wonder whether residents of Mosul feel the same way.

Many experts agree airstrikes that kill civilians serve as a recruiting tool for terrorist groups like ISIS and Al Qaeda.

With that said, the U.S. public should arguably take more interest in what's being done in its name abroad and question whether it's really helping to keep Americans safe.

Citations: US air strike on IS killed 105 civilians in Iraq's Mosul (BBC News)