The December NYT piece covering Talon Anvil and their indiscriminate uses of force in Syria did not register on many major radars for very long. The piece revealed a troubling pattern of either ignoring the possibility of civilian casualties or claiming self-defense in situations that didn’t necessarily require such force.
Talon Anvil operated as an extension of a secretive unit Task Force 9. Between the years 2014 and 2019 the group orchestrated thousands of airstrikes in Syria under the guise of targeting members of the Islamic State. The number of civilian casualties grew each year the group operated, members of the group, adjacent groups, and internal observers questioned the rate of civilian deaths, much higher than one would expect for an American unit.
One particularly glaring example of reckless air strikes occurred in the Syrian town of Baghuz on March 18th, 2019. Baghuz was supposedly one of the last remaining ISIS holdouts. An F-15 ignored imagery from a drone in the area and dropped 3 large bombs on a crowd of people, mostly women and children.