Report shows US bombing of Syrian troop deliberate: Journalist

Press TV- A recent report on US airstrikes that killed scores of Syrian soldiers in the eastern city of Dayr al-Zawr reveals that the attacks were carried out deliberately, an American investigative journalist says.

The airstrike, which targeted army positions near Dayr al-Zawr military airport, killed at least 62 soldiers– and possibly more than 100 — on September 17.

According to Gareth Porter in Washington, the findings of the report released by by US Central Command on 29 November showed that the airstrikes had been carried out intentionally.

The report showed US military officers at al-Udeid Airbase in Qatar sent misleading information to the Russians before the attack about the location they intended to strike so Russia could not warn that it was targeting Syrian troops.

It said the Russians were informed that the targets were nine kilometers south of Dayr al-Zawr airfield although they were only three and six kilometers from that airfield respectively.

Russia, a Syria ally, has been providing military assistance to Damascus in its battle against foreign-backed terrorism.

Richard Coe, US air force brigadier general on the investigating team, said last week that the airstrike was the unintentional result of “human error”.

Coe, who briefed reporters on the team’s report, acknowledged that the misleading information had prevented the Russians from intervening to stop the strike. “Had we told them accurately, they would have warned us,” he said.

Immediately after the US attack, Daesh terrorists launched a major offensive in the region and briefly took control of it before Syrian forces managed to retake it.

The US officers, the report said, ignored information and intelligence analysis warning that the intended targets were Syrian government rather than Takfiri Daesh terrorists.

According to the report, the US officials violated normal Air Force procedures by abruptly shifting from a deliberate targeting process to an immediate strike.

Moscow and Damascus accused the US of deliberately attacking government troops to boost Daesh, saying the airstrikes were deliberate ploy to end the US-Russian ceasefire in Syria.

Members of the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham terrorist group are seen at an armament school south of Aleppo on August 6, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

On September 9, Russia and the US agreed on a milestone deal on the crisis in Syria after hours of marathon talks in the Swiss city of Geneva.

The agreement, which came into effect on September 12, called for a nationwide cessation of hostilities in Syria and joint attacks against terrorist groups, including Daesh and Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, formerly known as al-Nusra Front.

US warplanes have been conducting airstrikes in Iraq since August 2014. Since September 2014, the US and some of its allies have also been carrying out airstrikes in Syria without any authorization from Damascus or a UN mandate.

The US-led coalition has done little to stop Daesh’s advances in Syria and Iraq. Some analysts have criticized the military campaign, saying the strikes are only meant to benefit US weapons manufacturers.