New York, SANA-Syria’s permanent delegation to the UN has affirmed that the investigations of the US Department of Defense into the massacre committed by the US occupation forces against civilians in Baghouz village in Deir Ezzor countryside on March 18th, 2019 are biased and represent a clear attempt to exonerate these forces and absolve them of their direct responsibility for civilian casualties, under the pretext of combating Daesh “ISIS” terrorist organization.
The US occupation army’s scandal of covering up the fact that it had committed the Baghouz massacre, which was talked about by the American “New York Times” newspaper, forced the Pentagon to announce opening an investigation, but, as expected, the investigations reached misleading conclusions aimed at exonerating the occupation forces, as the executive summary issued by the US Department of Defense last Tuesday claimed that “the attack did not violate the rules of engagement or the laws of war.”
Syria’s permanent delegation to the United Nations said in a statement to the American Newsweek magazine, “These biased investigations cannot deny the fact that a crime against humanity has occurred in Baghouz.”
“Any justifications provided by the US administration for not violating the law of war or the rules of engagement are to circumvent the fact that the US forces deployed in Syria are illegal and they launch military strikes under the pretext of fighting terrorism without approval or coordination with the government of the Syrian Arab Republic,” according to the statement.
In the article published by journalist Tom O’Connor in the magazine, the delegation described the results of investigations into the Baghouz massacre, which left at least 64 victims of women and children, as “a clear attempt to absolve the American occupation forces in Syria of their direct responsibility for civilian casualties under the pretext of fighting Daesh (ISIS) terrorist organization.”
The statement added that the claim that there is insufficient or inaccurate information about the presence of civilians and the efforts to differentiate between civilians and ISIS members are all “mere flimsy justifications that are refuted by the fact that civilians were killed.”
The delegation referred to the statements of the commander of United States Army Forces Command Michael X Garrett, who led the investigations into the Baghouz massacre, and his recommendations for clearer guidelines to avoid further civilian casualties, describing these recommendations as “an admission of neglect that entails accountability.”
The delegation added that there are “serious questions about the reasons for not addressing such gaps previously, especially that the Baghouz massacre is not the first of its kind,” stressing the necessity of “the immediate withdrawal of US forces from the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic, holding them accountable for their crimes, and obligating them to compensate the victims.”
The results of declaring investigations into the Baghouz massacre led to tension between journalists and Pentagon spokesman John Kirby, who considered that the US military should not be punished because, according to him, “they simply do what their mission requires according to the laws of war”.
Manar Salameh/ Ruaa al-Jazaeri