Are the U.S. government and military indirectly supporting war crimes? Yes, according to the non-profit Human Rights Watch (HRW).

Recently, the HRW released a report documenting war crimes committed by the Egyptian military and the Islamic State (ISIS) in North Sinai. The report accuses both warring parties of committing crimes against humanity. Although this is something to be expected from ISIS terrorists, the American-supported Egyptian government has little excuse.

According to the report, the fighting in the North Sinai qualifies as a non-international armed conflict (NIAC) and consequently, the laws of war are in effect. This means any combat irregularities committed by the Egyptian military are illegal. For a conflict to be categorized as a NIAC, it must meet certain conditions, such as lengthy duration, high intensity, significant severity, and existing and identifiable chains of command in the two warring parties.

According to the Military Times, an American diplomat acknowledged the existence and contents of the report but emphasized the strategic importance of the American-Egyptian military and political relationship. The unnamed State Department official said, “We continue to work with Egypt to advance our strategic partnership and address our common challenges, which includes encouraging respect for and protection of basic rights and freedoms.”