Over this past weekend, the US Pentagon has admitted to being behind an airstrike in Iraq that has killed over 100 people according to Iraqi sources. The airstrike took place in Mosul and is to have killed civilians, including many women and children. The Iraqi Vice President Osama Nujaifi described the incident as a “humanitarian disaster”. UN officials said they were “profoundly concerned” by the attack, but did not make any statement regarding an investigation or possible sanctions against the US.
The Pentagon claims that it had been targeting ISIS fighters and supplies “at the location corresponding to allegations of civilian casualties”. They claimed that, “[t]he coalition respects human life, which is why we are assisting our Iraqi partner forces in their effort to liberate their lands from ISIS brutality.”
Already the US has admitted to killing over 220 civilians in Iraq and Syria since 2014. However, independent monitoring groups such as Airwars.org in London say the number is close to 3,000. They claim a minimum of 1,000 deaths in Iraq and Syria alone from US and coalition airstrikes.
An investigation by Civilian Casualty Credibility Assessment will begin soon and is expected to take several weeks to complete.
Meanwhile, current US President Donald Trump has remained silent on the matter and refused to comment. Instead, the President is focusing on the investigations into allegations of possible collusion with Russia to interfere with the outcome of the election.
In the past, however, the President has commented on the unfolding battle against ISIS in Iraq. In a statement he made in late January, he criticised the former administration for not taking Iraq’s oil fields when a large troop withdrawal was carried out in 2011. “You wouldn’t have Isis if we took the oil,” he said. Trump is unlikely to apologise or take responsibility for the massacre of civilians. In the past, he has shifted the responsibility onto the Obama administration for the killings of civilians that have occurred under his Presidency.
Trumps’ statement regarding “taking the oil” speaks volumes about US interests in the country. The US shows absolutely no concern for the innocent Iraqi people they’ve killed, but instead, lament their lack of total control over the oil fields in Iraq. It has long since been accepted that the US invasion of the country was about obtaining control of the oil fields after former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein had begun trading the energy resource in Euros instead of the traditional US dollars.
US foreign policy has been far from being concerned about the welfare of the Iraqi people, or the defeating of ISIS. Since even before 9/11, which has been the justification for most recent invasions, the military activity of the US has been about capturing global spheres of influence and resources – chief among them, energy.
This is another example of the blatant inhumanity of US imperialism. The Iraqi people and their lives are treated as an inconvenience when it comes to the profits of US capitalism.