NATION POLITICS ESSENTIAL WASHINGTON

This is our look at President-elect Donald Trump's transition and the outgoing Obama administration. Here's what's happening:

Pentagon says human errors led to mistaken bombing of Syrian-backed forces

Smoke rises near the Syrian village of Hisha, about 25 miles from Islamic State's de facto capital of Raqqah, after an airstrike by the American-led coalition on Nov. 9, 2016. (Delil Souleiman /AFP/Getty Images)
Smoke rises near the Syrian village of Hisha, about 25 miles from Islamic State's de facto capital of Raqqah, after an airstrike by the American-led coalition on Nov. 9, 2016. (Delil Souleiman /AFP/Getty Images)

A U.S. military investigation has found that “unintentional human errors” led to a coalition airstrike that mistakenly killed dozens of Syrian-backed troops this fall, but it did not recommend disciplining anyone for the deadly attack.

The Sept. 17 air raid on a garrison in the eastern Syrian town of Dair Alzour is one of the worst coalition errors to emerge since the Obama administration began an air war against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria in mid-2014.

The attack, which was in an area also frequented by Russian forces, led to sharp criticism from Moscow after it emerged that Russian attempts to use a communications hotline to stop the attack were not answered for nearly half an hour.

Russia’s Defense Ministry has said the attack killed 62 Syrian troops, wounded 100 more and opened the way for an Islamic State offensive in the area. It also helped destroy an already fragile U.S.-Russian cease-fire.

A four-page redacted summary of the investigation that was released Tuesday concluded that the botched bombing did not violate international laws of armed conflict.

Latest updates

Copyright © 2017, Los Angeles Times
68°