According to first responders at the scene, an overnight US air strike in Syria killed six children and four women. Terrifying photos and videos show pools of blood and body parts scattered on the ground.
US special forces carried out a two-hour raid in the village of Atmeh in northwestern Syria early on Thursday morning. Talk to APresidents described an eruption of helicopter noise, explosions and machine guns as part of a US campaign to target a two-story house surrounded by olive trees.
It’s not clear why the house was targeted, but the Pentagon described the operation as a large-scale counterterrorism raid. In a brief statement, Pentagon press secretary John Kirby declared the mission “successful” and added: “There were no US casualties.”
However, the Syrian Civil Defense, a volunteer first responder group known as the White Helmets, described a chaotic scene as six children and four women were among the 13 killed. killed in shelling. A witness lives nearby told Reuters: “There’s blood everywhere.”
Footage from Syrian news channels shows that the top floor of the house was largely destroyed during the operation. In parts of the building still standing, blood and body parts splattered across the floor and video reviewed by Reuters showed the bodies of two children.
Photos from the destroyed home show evidence that children are nearby. A wooden crib is seen on the floor of a demolished bedroom, a plastic swing is still hanging from one of the walls that is resistant to shelling, and the dolls are destroyed. Damage is displayed on the ground.
Villager Omar Saleh told AP his windows began to shake at 1:10 a.m. local time when a helicopter flew over his house, then a megaphone played an announcement telling women to leave. out of the area. “This went on for 45 minutes. No response. Then machine gunfire broke out,” Saleh recounted, adding that it lasted for two hours.
One resident, who asked not to be named, told Reuters he left his home after midnight to investigate the noise before the violence began. “Ten minutes later we heard screams: ‘Give up, the house is under siege,’ he said. “We heard fire. There was shelling from aircraft and machine guns. ”
The Pentagon has provided scant details about the raid.
An unnamed US official told the AP that the Task Force had to blow up one of its own helicopters after it failed at the scene. The target of the raid has yet to be determined, but rebel sources told Reuters it may have been an unnamed jihadist with links to al Qaeda.
This is the largest US air strike on the rebel-held Idlib province since 2019, when President Donald Trump then ordered a strike led to the death of the leader of the Islamic State Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.