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The United States military may have committed lethal “war crimes” against “numerous” civilians, including children, as it ramped up its airstrike campaign against the al-Qaeda affiliate al-Shabaab in Somalia under President Donald Trump’s watch, the human rights group Amnesty International claimed on Wednesday, echoing allegations by the terrorist group and some news outlets.
U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) maintained that its airstrikes only target al-Shabaab, stressing that American military operations have killed no civilians. The terrorist group and Amnesty insist that the American airstrikes, carried out by manned aircraft and drones, have indeed killed civilians.
Brian - Castner - Crisis - Adviser - Arms
Brian Castner, the senior crisis adviser on arms and military operations at Amnesty International, declared:
The civilian death toll  we’ve uncovered in just a handful [five] of strikes suggests the shroud of secrecy surrounding the US role in Somalia’s war is actually a smokescreen for impunity.
Findings - US - Military - Mantra - Zero
Our findings directly contradict the US military’s mantra of zero civilian casualties in Somalia. That claim seems all the more fanciful when you consider the USA has tripled its air strikes across the country since 2016, outstripping their strikes in Libya and Yemen combined.
In a report titled The Hidden US War in Somalia, Amnesty alleged that five of the more than 100 bombs airdropped on Somalian jihadis in the past two years killed 14 civilians and wounded eight others, including women and children.
Rights - Group
The human rights group reported:
Amnesty International uncovered compelling evidence that US air strikes killed a total of 14 civilians and injured eight more, in five attacks that may have violated international humanitarian law and could, in some cases, constitute war crimes.
Reports - Casualties - Strikes - Inclusion - Report
Reports of more civilian casualties from other strikes could not be sufficiently corroborated for inclusion in the report.
Amnesty reportedly relied on eyewitness testimony, satellite images, and other photographs to reach its conclusion.
Forces - Further
“US forces are known to have carried out a further...
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