Thousands of US Strikes Unaccounted for in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan
US Central Command has been misleading the public in its assessment of the overall progress in the war on terror by failing to account for thousands of airstrikes in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria, a Military Times investigation revealed.
The investigation revealed that open source data of US Air Force strikes does not contain all the missiles fired. That incomplete data, however, continues to be used by the Pentagon on multiple occasions in official reports and media publications.
The publication said that in 2016 alone, American aircraft conducted at least 456 airstrikes in Afghanistan that were not recorded in the database maintained by the US Air Force.
The investigation also revealed discrepancies in Iraq and Syria where the Pentagon failed to account for nearly 6,000 strikes dating back to 2014, when the US-led coalition launched its first airstrikes against Daesh [the Arabic acronym for the Takfiri ISIS/ISIL group] terrorist targets.
According to the Air Force, coalition jets conducted 23,740 airstrikes through the end of 2016. The US War Department, however, puts the number at 17,861 until the end of January 2017.
Military Times remains especially puzzled by a statement made by an Air Force official in December who assured the publication that its monthly summary of activity in Iraq and Syria "specifically" represents the entire American-led coalition "as a whole, which is all 20-nations and the US branches."
"It's unclear whether this statement was intentionally misleading, or simply indicative of widespread internal ignorance, confusion or indifference about what's contained in this data," Andrew deGrandpre, Military Times' senior editor and Pentagon bureau chief, said in the article.
The publication revealed that the unaccounted-for airstrikes in all three war zones were conducted by US helicopters and armed drones which are overseen by US Central Command.
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team