Malcolm Turnbull says sorry Australian jets involved in airstrike killed the wrong people

The Prime Minister has come under fire as a US-led airstrike involving Australian jets has killed up to 83 people in Syria who
PM Malcolm Turnbull says he "regrets" our jets were involved in killing innocent people. Photo of airstrike (stock image).

The Prime Minister has come under fire as a US-led airstrike involving Australian jets has killed up to 83 people in Syria who were not IS but Syrian soldiers fighting Islamic State forces.

The soldiers were fighting Islamic State militants around a military airport in the country’s east when they were attacked by US-led coalition aircraft which apparently mistook them for militants.

The Prime Minister confirmed Australian aircraft were involved in the coalition exercise and pulled out when Russian officials advised the targets may have been Syrian military personnel and not the IS.

The raid escalated tensions between Russia and the US as the Syrian ceasefire faltered, with a fresh barrage of air strikes by aircraft on rebel-held areas of eastern Aleppo.

“As soon as the coalition were advised that there were Syrian government personnel that had been affected by the strike, the operation was discontinued,” Mr Turnbull told reporters in New York, echoing the earlier Defence statement.

“We regret the loss of life and injury to any Syrian personnel affected.”

Mr Turnbull said the situation in Syria remained complex, and any review of the mission would look into whether there should have been better coordination, reports ABC News.

“[For example] who was meant to be advising whom, but I’m not going to get into the element of speculation,” he said.

The Prime Minister also offered his condolences to the victims.

Is this the biggest blunder ever? Or should other parties be looked at?

  1. Greg Hills  

    “Friendly fire” has claimed lots of lives in the past, and will no doubt continue to do so. Especially now, that the line between one side and the other is so blurred, that sometimes they don’t know who the real enemy is. No easy solution, I’m afraid.

  2. Donice Keenan  

    The soldiers killed being of the Syrian National Army are enemy to the US , and therefore our enemy also aren’t they ?
    After all the Syrian ‘ Regime ‘ is an enemy of the US.

    I’ve rarely believe in bombing ‘ accidents ‘ and now especially after reading an interview with the Aussie bomber Pilot they call Maverick last week I believe this one least.

  3. Dee  

    “We regret” or “sorry” doesn’t quite cut it when 83 people are dead in a bungle of this magnitude, worse still in the middle of a ceasefire. Just imagine the outcry if it happened in a Western country. How many of the 83 were civilians or children. We will never be told the whole truth of this matter.

  4. Fadila  

    Why is the war in Syria still going on . What purpose is it serving

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