Lloyd Austin
Lloyd Austin REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol/File Photo

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin ordered a four-star general to review a 2019 strike in Syria that caused civilian casualties, the Pentagon said on Monday, according to Reuters.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told reporters that General Michael Garrett, the head of US Army Forces Command, would have 90 days to complete his review on the civilians killed, the compliance of the law of war and record keeping.

The directive follows a recent New York Times report which said that the US strike in Baghuz, Syria, killed up to 64 women and children.

The report, published earlier this month, said that the US military covered up the 2019 strike, which was ordered by a classified American special operations unit tasked with ground operations in Syria.

Following the report, Central Command said that 80 people were killed in the strikes, including 16 ISIS fighters and four civilians.

The military said it was unclear if the other 60 people were indeed civilians, partly because women and children could have been combatants.

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