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The US has admitted that its forces and those of three key anti-ISIL Coalition allies – the UK, Australia and Denmark – took part in bombings that mistakenly killed at least 15 Syrian regime forces on September 17th near Deir Ezzor. In a briefing with reporters on November 29th, chief investigator Brigadier General Richard Coe said that after initially determining incorrectly that a vehicle being tracked belonged to ISIL, “confirmation bias” and other failures led Coalition analysts to assume that additional forces seen being friendly to the vehicle’s occupants also belonged to the militant group. Drone surveillance had begun a day earlier on September 16th, and continued until the strikes commenced at 13:55 local time. One analyst viewing video of the scene remotely – noting the presence of a tank in the vicinity – wrote in a military chat room that “What we are looking at can’t possibly be ISIL.” But his assessment was ignored.
27 minutes on hold According to an investigation conducted by CENTCOM, shortly before the raid began “a possible flag was called out” in the target area. But “the call went unacknowledged due to human factors, to include task saturation and target fixation.” In other words, Coalition personnel were too busy, and too focused on a target that they had already decided was ISIL. The US took the unprecedented step of notifying the Russian government prior to the impending attack, but provided incorrect coordinates. This led Russian officials to believe the target was in fact several kilometers distant. As soon as Russia learnt its Syrian allies were in trouble it used a special ‘deconfliction hotline’ manned by American personnel. But it took almost half an hour for the message to get through. According to US investigators, the Russians wanted to speak with a specific liaison officer – and when he was unavailable they reportedly hung up and called back later. When the official was still unavailable during the second call, Russia was put on hold. A total of 27 minutes would pass before the Coalition was finally warned and was able to take steps to halt the raid. During that time, multiple additional strikes took place. In total, Coalition planes belonging to the US, the UK, Australia and Denmark dropped 34 guided bombs and fired 380 additional rounds of 30mm munitions on the Syrian camp. F-16s, A-10s, FA/18s and Reaper drones were all involved in the raid. Though CENTCOM did not provide breakdowns of the 37 total “strikes” or munition releases by country, Denmark has publicly stated that it dropped five bombs on four vehicles during the raid. A spokesperson for the UK Ministry of Defense told Airwars that its remotely piloted Reaper drones also fired munitions, adding that “We would not and did not intentionally strike known Syrian Regime military units.” And in a statement, the Australian Department of Defence said that two of its FA/18As took part in the raid, which was supervised by the Combined Air Operations Center (CAOC) in Qatar. Australia stressed that the airstrikes “were conducted in full compliance with the rules of engagement and the laws of armed conflict.”
originally posted by: khnum
So who were the forward air controllers embeded with?
its not a good answer.