Many years too late, it appears The New York Times has suddenly discovered that the United States has been committing war crimes in Syria, coming long after it was clear Washington was pursuing regime change in Damascus. With Assad still in control of most of the country, US efforts have turned to far-reach sanctions of late, which have greatly increased the sufferings of common Syrians. Like with Bush's disastrous invasion of Iraq before, the Times was the foremost cheerleader for that war, laundering Pentagon and admin propaganda, and only many years later admitting the truth that it was all based on lies... so now it seems to be going with Syria.
In its latest reporting, the NY Times has "uncovered" that an elite US military unit intentionally targeted and destroyed a large dam which was vital to the daily life and survival of tens of thousands of people near a vital Euphrates River reservoir. When the 2017 bombing of the Tabqa Dam (or al-Thawra Dam as it's also called) was first reported, a top American general labeled those accusing the US of being behind it as "crazy". Like much mainstream media reporting on Syria, those who had it right in real time - many from independent and alternative media - were dismissed as "conspiracy theorists" and loons, but now this...
A massive dam in Syria was on a U.S. no-strike list.— Eric Umansky (@ericuman) January 20, 2022
Tens of thousands people lived downstream.
When it was bombed, the Pentagon said the US didn't do it.
A general dismissed even the possibility as "crazy reporting."
The U.S. did it. https://t.co/AE3JcYZJ8Z pic.twitter.com/Odyb7Lu5c0
The fresh NY Times reporting begins, "Near the height of the war against the Islamic State in Syria, a sudden riot of explosions rocked the country’s largest dam, a towering, 18-story structure on the Euphrates River that held back a 25-mile-long reservoir above a valley where hundreds of thousands of people lived."
The US had quickly dismissed those accusing the US of being behind the attack. And since Russia was among them, it was easy for the Pentagon to bat it down as but the "propaganda" of America's enemies in the region...
The Islamic State, the Syrian government and Russia blamed the United States, but the dam was on the U.S. military’s "no-strike list" of protected civilian sites and the commander of the U.S. offensive at the time, then-Lt. Gen. Stephen J. Townsend, said allegations of U.S. involvement were based on “crazy reporting.”
“The Tabqa Dam is not a coalition target,” he declared emphatically two days after the blasts.
Multiple Syrians had been killed and wounded in the attack, including dam workers and engineers who had rushed to the scene to save it.
Apparently there was proof that the US did it right way, yet it seems this fact remained buried (or perhaps suppressed) in Western media reporting for years, given that as NYT details, "After the strikes, dam workers stumbled on an ominous piece of good fortune: Five floors deep in the dam’s control tower, an American BLU-109 bunker-buster lay on its side, scorched but intact — a dud. If it had exploded, experts say, the whole dam might have failed."
As the Times now reveals, it was an elite Pentagon unit behind the attack on vital civilian infrastracture, responsible for other mass atrocities in Syria:
In fact, members of a top secret U.S. Special Operations unit called Task Force 9 had struck the dam using some of the largest conventional bombs in the U.S. arsenal, including at least one BLU-109 bunker-buster bomb designed to destroy thick concrete structures, according to two former senior officials. And they had done it despite a military report warning not to bomb the dam, because the damage could cause a flood that might kill tens of thousands of civilians.