U.S. Bombing in Syria Kills Dozens Imprisoned by ISIS for Violating Sharia Law

Wednesday, January 14, 2015
U.S. airstrike hits ISIS encampment in northern Syrian town (photo: Vadim Ghirda, AP)

Dozens of Syrian civilians died last month after being jailed by ISIS for violating Sharia Law. But it wasn’t Islamic extremists who ended their lives—it was the United States.


An airstrike carried out Dec. 28 on an ISIS headquarters in the northern Syrian town of Al Bab may have killed more than 50 civilians, according to McClatchy. Reports gathered from eyewitness and a Syrian opposition human rights group revealed a death toll ranging between 55 and 61 civilian prisoners inside the building that was demolished by American missiles. Between 13 and 25 ISIS guards also died in the attack. If those numbers are accurate, it would represent the worst case of civilian deaths caused by the U.S. bombing of Syria.


One source told McClatchy that 35 prisoners were imprisoned for minor infractions of Islamic Law, “such as smoking, wearing jeans or appearing too late for the afternoon prayer,” Roy Gutman and Mousab Alhamadee reported.


The U.S. military did not confirm the airstrike until last weekend. An early Pentagon statement said there had been no evidence of civilian casualties but a later email from the Defense Department acknowledged there had been reports of some deaths.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

U.S. Airstrike In Syria May Have Killed 50 Civilians (by Roy Gutman and Mousab Alhamadee, McClatchy)

U.S. Bombing in Syria Said to Drive More Anti-Assad Rebels to Join or Support ISIS (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)


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