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Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has ordered a fresh investigation into the 2019 airstrike in Syria, the result of which was first reported in detail by the New York Times earlier this month.

General Michael Garrett has been the commander of US military forces tasked with investigatingPentagon press secretary John Kirby said Monday, which will review “reports of the investigation already conducted” while “further investigating the facts and circumstances” of the strike.


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The investigation stems from a March 2019 strike in support of the US-allied Syrian Democratic Forces on ISIS in Baghouz, Syria. asked for air support After they were attacked by ISIS fighters.

While Syrian fighters, US special operations forces operating in the area, and an unmanned aerial vehicle flying over the battlefield did not report any civilians in the area to be attacked, a UAV later The operator’s report stated that civilian bombs may have been dropped in the area.

The New York Times reported earlier this month that the area where the bombs were dropped was mostly women and children, resulting in the death of 70 civilians.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

Kirby said Garrett would have 90 days to conclude a review that would cover “civilian casualties resulting from the incident, compliance with the law of war” and “whether accountability measures would be appropriate”.

As the New York Times reports, the general will be tasked with recreating the timeline of the original Inspector General investigation, after “stalling and stripping any mention of the strike.”

September 23, 2014: In this photo released by the US Air Force, a pair of US F-15E Strike Eagles fly over northern Iraq.. (AP)

The new review comes after Austin referred to both internal and external reviews of US airstrikes at his November 17 briefing, calling it “to correct both how the military conducts strikes and its transparency about them”. Committed”.

“The American people deserve to know that we take this issue very seriously. And that we are committed to protecting civilians and getting the right to how we perform missions on their behalf and what we do about them.” How’s the talk later,” Austin said at the time. “And I believe it and I am committed to doing so in full partnership with our military leaders.”