id=”US”>US Military Inquiry: “Human Errors” Behind Airstrike on Assad Forces in September

A US military investigation has concluded that a series of “unintentional human errors” led to airstrikes that killed more than 60 pro-Assad troops on September 17 in eastenn Syria.Brigadier General Richard Coe, who led the investigation, told reporters on Tuesday that the errors ranged from a basic misidentification of targets to “group think” during intelligence development and a communications blunder on a hotline with Russia.

Aircraft from the US, Britain, Australia and Denmark were involved in the operation, which dropped 34 precision-guided weapons and fired 380 rounds of 30-millimeter ammunition.The warplanes hit the pro-Assad troops near a frontline with the Islamic State in Deir ez Zor Province, believing they were targeting ISIS fighters. The troops were not wearing the standards of the Syrian military, said Coe, and intelligence misidentified a vehicle as belonging to the Islamic State.Before the strike took place, the US contacted the Russian military, but gave the wrong coordinates. The mission was aborted after Russia finally reacched a designated US military point-of-contact, which had been unavailable for 27 minutes.