Mainstream Media Suddenly Care About Syrian Civilian Casualties

United States military has killed more foreign civilians than any other armed force on the planet since dropping two nuclear bombs on Japan in 1945.

– Brett Wilkins

October 11, 2019 “Information Clearing House” -Turn on any US cable news network or click on any mainstream media news story about the Turkish offensive in Syria and you”ll see lots of worrying about civilian casualties. On the first day of the Turkish campaign, all the major networks covered the mass exodus of Kurds facing imminent bombing and invasion, with most also airing the first reports of Kurdish civilian casualties. Everywhere we see expressions of concern for the innocent Kurds caught in the path of Turkey”s onslaught.

There was no such concern in 2014 when the United States began its five-year bombing campaign against Islamic State (IS) in Syria and Iraq. Mainstream media outlets that regularly reported war crimes and mass slaughter when they were committed by IS fighters, Syrian government forces or Russian air strikes were suddenly silent as US and coalition bombing and, later, ground attacks killed thousands of Syrian and Iraqi men, women and children, to the point where for several months in 2017 US-led forces were killing more Syrian civilians than IS, Russian bombing or even Syrian President Bashar al-Assad”s forces. Even reliable alternative media outlets like Democracy Now only occasionally reported civilian casualties, even though they were happening almost every day. 

While it is impossible to say exactly how many civilians have been killed by US-led bombing over the past five years, SOHR has counted 4,036 Syrian civilians killed by coalition forces since the bombing began.

Human rights monitors including Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) and Airwars have been publishing daily reports of civilian casualties caused by all belligerents in Syria and Iraq for years. These groups compile casualty lists from local media and monitor groups and are highly credible sources. Their reports are, however, almost completely ignored by the US corporate media. With the exception of a relative handful of high-casualty incidents—like the time in March 17 when more than 200 people were killed when US warplanes bombed an apartment building in Mosul, Iraq—American media focus almost exclusively on US military casualties, with civilian deaths usually little more than an afterthought when they are mentioned at all. …

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