Moral Low Ground

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US Airstrike Kills Family of 7 Civilians, Including 5 Children, in Syria

US Navy F-18E Super Hornets flying over Iraq after conducting an airstrike in Syria. (Pentagon photo)

US Navy F-18E Super Hornets flying over Iraq after conducting an airstrike in Syria. (Pentagon photo)

An airstrike by US-led coalition warplanes, most likely American, killed a family of seven in Syria’s northern Aleppo province on Monday, while dozens of civilians were killed by Syrian government forces throughout the war-ravaged nation.

Agence France-Presse reports the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), a London-based group opposed to the Bashar al-Assad government, said a civilian couple and their five children were killed overnight in the coalition airstrike in the village of Daly Hassan, northeastern Aleppo province.

According to SOHR, 148 Syrian civilians, including 48 children and 32 women, have been killed by US and coalition airstrikes since last September. Last month, SOHR reported 64 civilians, including 31 children and 19 women, died when bombs or missiles from coalition warplanes struck their homes in Bir Mahli, also in Aleppo province.

American officials would not comment on the latest deadly airstrike. Typically, the US military denies killing civilians in airstrikes but later investigates claims as evidence and public outrage mount. Last month, the commander of the US-led military campaign against Islamic State admitted an American airstrike killed two Syrian children last November, the first such admission by US authorities during the course of the nine-month air war.

Separately, SOHR said at least 49 civilians, including six children, were killed Monday as Syrian government aircraft bombed a square in the town of Al-Janudiyah, Idlib province, an area completely under the control of opposition forces.

“It’s a public square, and a lot of people gather there because there are shops,” SOHR director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.

SOHR also reported four members of a family were killed as government helicopters dropped barrel bombs on areas in Dahrat Awwad in the neighborhood of Tariq al-Bab, Aleppo province. Clashes continued between Islamist forces, including IS, and government troops in Aleppo and Homs provinces, as well as in Jrud al- Qalamoun, Rif Demashq province.

SOHR says 320,000 people have been killed since the beginning of the Syrian civil war in March 2011. More than 108,000 civilians, including more than 11,400 children and 7,300 women, are among the dead. In addition to those killed, the United Nations says 1 million more Syrians have been wounded, some 7.6 million have been displaced and more than 3.3 million people are now refugees.

While the number of innocent civilians killed by coalition airstrikes represents a tiny fraction of the overall death toll in Syria, a recent study published by the Nobel Prize-winning International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, concluded the US-led wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan have killed more than 1.3 million people since October 2001, when the Bush administration launched a global US war against terrorism in response to the September 11, 2001 al-Qaeda attacks on New York and Washington, DC.

Since the end of World War II, US military forces have killed more innocent foreign civilians than any other power on earth.

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