In Iraq, Syria, US lifts rules meant to protect civilians

A Syrian man inspects the damage following a reported US-led coalition airstrike against the headquarters of al-Nusra Front, 20 km west of the northern city of Aleppo, on September 25, 2014. (photo credit: AFP/Sami Ali)

A Syrian man inspects the damage following a reported US-led coalition airstrike against the headquarters of al-Nusra Front, 20 km west of the northern city of Aleppo, on September 25, 2014. (photo credit: AFP/Sami Ali)

Exacting standards designed to avoid unintended casualties do not apply to fight against Islamic State, White House says

The White House revealed on Tuesday that its usually strict rules of engagement, intended to prevent civilian casualties of US airstrikes, have been relaxed in the current offensive against the Islamic State and other radical Islamist groups.

National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden told Yahoo News in an email that a much-publicized statement last year by President Barack Obama that US drone strikes would only be carried out if there is a “near certainty” of no civilian injuries would not apply to the US campaign against jihadi forces in Syria and Iraq.

Hayden wrote that the “near certainty” rule was intended “only when we take direct action ‘outside areas of active hostilities,’ as we noted at the time.

“That description — outside areas of active hostilities — simply does not fit what we are seeing on the ground in Iraq and Syria right now,” she continued…

Well, how very… interesting. After chastising Israel all through the Gaza War!

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