White House Shrugs Off Dead Civilians in Syrian Strikes

"Freedom" is just another word for nothing left to bomb.Winning hearts and minds! In
the wake of reports that our airstrikes on Syria may have killed a
dozen civilians, including children, Yahoo News asked the
administration whether the policy the White House put in place to
limit drone strikes applied to these bombings. The drone rules
President Barack Obama has put into place require they can only be
used if there is a “near certainty” that there will be no civilian
casualties. (These rules are mere empty gestures, though. There
have been
civilian casualties
from drone strikes anyway, regardless of

But the citizens of Syria and Iraq won’t even get this lip
service. This is an area of “active hostilities,” which is what I
guess we’re calling undeclared wars at the moment. The drone
assassination policy does not apply here, Yahoo News has been


The “near certainty” standard was intended to apply “only when
we take direct action ‘outside areas of active hostilities,’ as we
noted at the time,” [National Security Council spokesperson
Caitlin] Hayden said in an email. “That description — outside areas
of active hostilities — simply does not fit what we are seeing on
the ground in Iraq and Syria right now.” 

Hayden added that U.S. military operations against the Islamic
State (also known as ISIS or ISIL) in Syria, “like all U.S.
military operations, are being conducted consistently with the laws
of armed conflict, proportionality and distinction.”

The laws of armed conflict prohibit the deliberate targeting of
civilian areas and require armed forces to take precautions to
prevent inadvertent civilian deaths as much as possible.

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