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‘They can’t aim very well’

This is a cross-post by Kellie Strøm

Last June, President Obama argued against a No–Fly Zone in the following terms:

Responding to calls to shut down Syria’s combat aircraft with American air power, Obama said “the fact of the matter is for example, 90 percent of the deaths that have taken place haven’t been because of air strikes by the Syrian air force.”

“Syrian Air Force isn’t particularly good. They can’t aim very well,” he said, adding that most of the action was taking place “on the ground.”

That’s from a June 17th 2013 report by Dan De Luce of AFP, here andhere.

That same figure of 90% of opposition casualties not being caused by air strikes was also at the centre of Mark Thompson’s article of the same date for Time. It was attributed to Army General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The Violations Documentations Centre in Syria lists 5,160 individuals killed specifically by aircraft up to June 17th 2013, the date of those articles.

Killed by an air force that “isn’t particularly good.”

Today the VDC’s total number of records of men, women, and children, killed by Assad’s air force has reached 7,510 individuals. By the time you click on this link it may be more. This is a minimum count of confirmed killings by aircraft. The actual number of people is likely over 10,000. Of whom at least 2,000 are children.

Killed by an air force that “can’t aim very well.”

Syria still needs a No-Fly Zone.