The advocacy group Human Rights Watch is criticizing a new Department of Defense review of a 2019 airstrike in Syria that killed dozens of people, including women and children, saying the case “highlights fundamental and ongoing flaws” in how the U.S. deals with accountability for civilian harm.
On Tuesday, the Pentagon released a summary — but not the full report — of an airstrike launched near the town of Baghuz in eastern Syria that was meant to support local U.S.-allied forces who were under attack by Islamic State fighters.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin ordered Army Gen. Michael Garrett, the head of U.S. Army Forces Command, to do an independent review of the Baghuz mission. His report issued this week concurred with an earlier assessment that the strike was a legitimate use of self-defense to support allied forces under fire.
The independent report said that “through no fault of his
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