WASHINGTON — For years, the Pentagon has maintained that no civilians have been killed in American airstrikes and raids in Somalia. Amnesty International, in a new report released on Tuesday, put the death toll at 14 since 2017 alone.

The report linked the killings to President Trump’s decision to relax rules for preventing civilian casualties during American counterterrorism strikes in Somalia. Amnesty said it examined five airstrikes that killed 14 civilians and injured eight.

“In the incidents presented in this report, civilians were killed and injured in attacks that may have violated international humanitarian law and could, in some cases, constitute war crimes,” the report said.

It called into question repeated claims by United States Africa Command that there have been no civilian casualties from American strikes against the extremist Islamist group known as the Shabab.

The report also attributed the discrepancy to failures by the American military and the Somali government to adequately investigate claims that civilians were killed in airstrikes and raids by United States forces.    Source:nytimes

HALKAN GASHO