"Tuesday’s reports were the latest in a string of recent incidents in which coalition aircraft have been implicated in the deaths of civilians in the Manbij area."
This situation received a one-sentence mention on the NBC nightly news on July 20, and the anchor only said that the U.S. was investigating the claim that there had been "50" civilian deaths in Manbij. My guess is that the only reason NBC mentioned it was because (Glenn Greenwald's) The Intercept had filed a report on July 19 on the situation, which means the story is getting considerable attention on the U.S. internet.
The Intercept quotes SOHR, an unreliable source in my opinion that is at the least widely acknowledged as highly controversial and which supports anti-Syrian government forces; however, the report quotes other sources as well, and given the grave importance of the situation I'm going to quote from it, although other news sources have also reported on it. See for example US-led coalition to probe civilian deaths in Syria – defense secretary; July 20, RT, and sources, such as The (U.K.) Telegraph, mentioned in the Intercept report.
SOHR's interpretation of the serial coalition bombings of trapped Syrian civilians, many of them women and children, is that they were simply "a mistake."
My assessment at this time is that with six months left to his term in office, President Obama is in a hurry to show big results against Islamic State in Syria, and that Hollande's administration is in a positive frenzy to show the French people results against the terrorist organization since the large-scale terror attacks in France.
If my view is correct, it follows that the rush-rush approach makes for very bad miscalculations and sloppy intelligence gathering. So while the repeated bombings of civilians might not have been deliberate, they couldn't be called mistakes. They would represent gross negligence.
As to why I'm singling out the French from amongst other coalition forces doing bombing in Syria, because (yesterday) the Syrian government specifically accused French aircraft of doing bombing that killed by the Syrian count 85 Syrian civilians. Because the Syrians lodged a formal protest with the United Nations about this, it's very likely they have hard evidence that the aircraft belonged to the French government.
Two more points about The Intercept report.
1. It mentions that SOHR claimed it had no knowledge that a school had been struck by (U.S.-led) coalition missiles. But the organization that reported on the missile strikes was Syria Direct, as The Intercept mentions. Syria Direct is a front organization for the U.S. Department of State. This suggests to me that Syria Direct got its information about the missile strikes from State.
In other words, the intelligence about the strikes is probably good.
2. The Intercept argues that the U.S. has always taken great care to avoid bombing civilians in Syria unlike the "notoriously indiscriminate" Syrian Army and Russian airstrikes. This isn't the place to discuss the issue of terrorists using entire populations as human shields and using off-limits facilities such as hospitals as staging areas. But I did want to mention this consideration, which is studiously ignored or downplayed by virtually all press outlets that want to see Syria's government overthrown.
In addition, the U.S. is using a double standard: for more than a year almost always refusing to bomb Al Nusrah and other terrorist groups that are working alongside U.S.-backed 'rebel' groups on the argument that they don't want to risk killing the rebels. But given the bombings of civilians in and near Manbij, obviously the U.S. is not showing the same restraint there.
Civilian Death Toll From Coalition Airstrikes In Syria Could Be Single Largest in U.S.-led War on ISIS
By Ryan Devereaux
July 19, 2016 - 8:11 PM
trapped in Islamic State-controlled territory in northern Syria were reportedly killed Tuesday by airstrikes from Western coalition aircraft. The reported death toll, potentially the highest ever to result from a coalition bombing in the international campaign against ISIS, continued to climb as The Intercept reached out to monitoring groups tracking operations in the area.