Socialist Worker

The West's war sees record bombing in Iraq and Syria killing hundreds

by Dave Sewell
Issue No. 2547

syria

Bombing in Mosul has displaced thousands (Pic: Flickr: AshleyWest)


The US-led coalition against Isis is raining bombs on the cities of Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria. The attacks are slaughtering hundreds of people and displacing thousands.

Monitoring group Airwars counted 1,200 deaths from coalition airstrikes in March.

There is confusion and conflicting reports. But Airwars stressed that the intensity of the bombing was unprecedented—and that the coalition is hitting densely populated districts.

As many as 200 people may have been killed in a single airstrike on Mosul on 17 March. Survivors say hundreds of people remain trapped under rubble.

“There are six of my family still under our house,” one refugee, Assad, told the Guardian newspaper. “My father, I saw him die in front of me, my brother, two sisters and two cousins.”

Iraqi military officials blamed the deaths on Isis booby traps.

But the US acknowledged last Saturday that it had bombed that location, and said it would carry out an investigation.

Displaced

Britain’s RAF fighter planes were also bombing Mosul on that day.Some 149,322 people have been displaced from Mosul in the last 30 days, the International Organisation for Migration reported.

The US also killed some 46 people in a mosque in Aleppo, Syria, on 16 March. It claimed its target was an Al Qaida meeting place nearby.

Another coalition airstrike near Raqqa hit a school where displaced families were sheltering, killing at least 33.

Even the relatively pro-Western opposition group the Syrian National Coalition (SNC) slammed bombings “that amount to war crimes”.

It called on coalition forces to “to stop targeting residential areas under whatever pretext”.

The US claims to be avoiding civilian casualties. It blames Isis for using people as “human shields” or insists its bombings are necessary to defeat the hated group.

But the US-led invasion and occupation of Iraq from 2003 sowed the seeds of Isis.

There’s no safety in the newly “liberated” eastern half of Mosul. Mortar shells caused a major fire in the Nabi Yunus market last Sunday, killing at least two people.

The new administration of Donald Trump is also stepping up US participation in the Saudi-led war on Yemen. Trump wants to counter Iran’s influence in the region.

The US carried out more airstrikes in Yemen in one week last month than in the whole of last year. The result is indiscriminate slaughter—and a devastating famine.

Tens of thousands of people joined a Yemeni government-backed protest rally against the bombings last Sunday, marking two years of the conflict.

Our rulers condemned the attacks in Westminster last week. Yet they and their allies are sowing state terror on a far greater scale across the Middle East.

 


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