Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has ordered a new investigation into one of the deadliest U.S. airstrikes in recent years after the New York Times exposed an orchestrated cover-up by U.S. military officials to conceal the attack.
The March 2019 airstrike killed dozens of women and children during a bombing of one of the last strongholds of the Islamic State of Syria. Evidence has shown that U.S. military officials spent two-and-a-half years covering up the attack by downplaying the death toll, delaying reports, and sanitizing and classifying evidence of civilian deaths.
“This is not the case of one little mistake,” says Priyanka Motaparthy, director of the Counterterrorism, Armed Conflict and Human Rights Project at Columbia Law School.
“This really points to a crisis of accountability in the Pentagon.”
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