US admits its airstrike in Syria killed one civilian by mistake

The US military has expressed regret that an airstrike targeting a senior Al-Qaeda leader in Syria last year resulted in a civilian casualty.

The US Central Command released a statement on Thursday saying that a counterterrorism airstrike was carried out in northwestern Syria in May last year, killing one man.

The statement says the military's investigation determined that US forces misidentified the intended Al-Qaeda target and a civilian named Lufti Hasan Masto was killed.

The US Central Command says it acknowledges and regrets the civilian harm. It pledges to "continue to employ thorough and deliberate targeting and strike processes to minimize civilian harm."

The US military opened the investigation after the Washington Post reported last May that a US drone attack could have hit a civilian by mistake.

A 2021 US drone strike in the Afghan capital of Kabul mistakenly killed 10 civilians, including children.