On Thursday, the military officials acknowledged they have no video of the house explosion in Syria or of the efforts to get civilians out of the house. According to the military, a family with four children on the first floor responded to calls from the troops and interpreters and got out of the house to safety. As they left the house, the explosion tore through the third floor, sending bodies to the ground.
U.S. military officials said Thursday there could have been more civilian casualties than initially thought in the special operations forces raid that killed the top Islamic State leader in Syria last week, but believe any deaths were not at the hands of American forces, AP reports.
Laying out a chronology of the raid, officials also said that they cannot be certain that Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi detonated the bomb that killed him and his family at his home in sleepy village of Atmeh near the Turkish border.
But they said it was set off by him or someone else on the third floor of the building where he lived. Previously the Pentagon and President Joe Biden had said al-Qurayshi blew up himself, his wife and two children. The military officials said Thursday they believe that is the most likley scenario but have no evidence to back that up.
They also said it’s possible that others — perhaps additional wives he had — could have been with him and killed in that blast. They said “multiple bodies” were thrown from the building and buried in the rubble, and while they know al-Qurayshi and his family died, they can’t rule out the possibility that other bodies were hidden in the collapse and not seen by the troops.
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