Current and former American military and intelligence officials circumvented rules imposed to protect noncombatants tell The New York Times that a covert US army cell operating repeatedly killed civilians as collateral damage in its operations against the Islamic State terror group in Syria.
The unit called Talon Anvil was active between 2014 and 2019 striking convoys, car bombs, command centers and squads of enemy fighters, NYT says.
But NYT sources says the cell “circumvented rules imposed to protect noncombatants,” sometimes killing farmers in the middle of their harvest, children on the street, fleeing families, and villagers sheltering in buildings.
“They were ruthlessly efficient and good at their jobs,” says one former Air Force intelligence officer who was with the unit from 2016 to 2018. “But they also made a lot of bad strikes.”