U.S. military pilots carrying out the air war against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria are voicing growing discontent over what they say are heavy-handed rules of engagement hindering them from striking targets.Yeah.
They blame a bureaucracy that does not allow for quick decision-making. One Navy F-18 pilot who has flown missions against ISIS voiced his frustration to Fox News, saying: "There were times I had groups of ISIS fighters in my sights, but couldn't get clearance to engage.”
He added, “They probably killed innocent people and spread evil because of my inability to kill them. It was frustrating."
Sources close to the air war against ISIS told Fox News that strike missions take, on average, just under an hour, from a pilot requesting permission to strike an ISIS target to a weapon leaving the wing.
A spokesman for the U.S. Air Force’s Central Command pushed back: “We refute the idea that close air support strikes take 'an hour on average'. Depending on the how complex the target environment is, a strike could take place in less than 10 minutes or it could take much longer.
"As our leaders have said, this is a long-term fight, and we will not alienate civilians, the Iraqi government or our coalition partners by striking targets indiscriminately."
A former U.S. Air Force general who led air campaigns over Iraq and Afghanistan also said today's pilots are being "micromanaged," and the process for ordering strikes is slow -- squandering valuable minutes and making it possible for the enemy to escape.
So the same US military that has its pilots on such a short leash that it can up to an hour to get clearance to strike a target suddenly have loosened things up so much that Syrian forces can be struck by accident?
I don't buy it.
I don't know what's going on but the explanation that this was a mistake is pure bullshit.