Wednesday, March 22, 2017

US-Led Coalition Bombs School in Raqqa, Mainstream Media Diverts Attention

Sputnik | Mar 22, 2017

© AP Photo/ Bram Janssen
More than 30 Syrian civilians were killed when the US-led coalition bombed a school in the town of al-Mansour in the Raqqa province, Turkish Anadolu news agency reported. 

Earlier in the day, an informed source cited by the SANA news agency also said that the US-led coalition raid struck a school south of the town of Mansour, nearly 19 miles west of Raqqa. Unverified reports estimated up to 33 people may have been killed in the strike. The school was being used as a shelter for refugees.

The refugees were peaceful citizens who had fled the fighting from the cities of Aleppo, Raqqa and Palmyra and had come to al-Mansour for safety.

The province of Raqqa is still under the control of Daesh terrorists, but there are also Syrian civilians living there.

The bombing killed mostly women and children. It is noteworthy to point out that it was the Syrian Human Rights Monitoring Center that confirmed the attack as being carried out by the western coalition.

Following the attack, the official representative of the western coalition told CBS News that there is yet no evidence that civilians were killed in an airstrike. He highlighted that the coalition is quite serious about such information and is checking it thoroughly.

Informed sources told SANA news agency earlier in the day that the school, which served as a shelter for 50 refugee families, was completely destroyed.

The news agency also reported about an airstrike on the Tabqa region in the western part of Raqqa, killing at least 40.

Furthermore, there were reports that the coalition had bombed a mosque in the village of al-Jin in Aleppo where people were praying at the time. As a result of the bombing locals took out 42 bodies from under the rubble.

On Friday, US Department of Defense spokesperson Capt. Jeff Davis said that the strike targeted an adjacent building. Davis also said that the Pentagon was not "aware of any credible allegation of civilian casualties." The strike killed 42 people, most of them civilians, as the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported on Thursday.

However, despite oral testimonies of activists and photographic materials, the Pentagon hastened to state that the aircraft dropped bombs not on the mosque, but on the building next to it where al-Qaeda militants were allegedly hiding.

A representative of the US Central Command, Colonel John Thomas, said that the evidence provided by the activists will be carefully studied and the incident will be investigated but he did not specify what measures will be taken against the perpetrators who killed innocent civilians.

It is becoming quite clear that the mainstream media doesn’t like to highlight failures of the international coalition. It is not only in Syria but in Iraq too that the media fails to cover attacks carried out by the US-led coalition. For example, when covering the operation in Mosul most of the mainstream media preferred not to stress their audience's attention on civilian casualties and the humanitarian situation in the region.

The liberation of Aleppo, which took place at the end of 2016, was also presented from a different perspective. The leading mainstream media covering Aleppo emphasized the suffering of the city's residents who were forced to leave their homes and flee.


However, the fact that the Russian and Syrian military created special corridors for safe passage of the civilians was not highlighted.

The situation around the city was assessed as a humanitarian disaster with journalists claiming that it was unfolding against the backdrop of war crimes allegedly committed by government troops.

There were about 100,000 civilians held hostage in Aleppo, whereas, in Mosul in Iraq there are more than 750,000 people who cannot exit the city due to the presence of terrorists; however, the media hasn’t highlighted that enough.

On March 4, a monthly report by the Combined Joint Task Force said that "at least 220 civilians have been unintentionally killed by coalition's strikes since the start of Operation Inherent Resolve" and expressed regret over the loss of lives.


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