Bến Tre is the capital city of Bến Tre Province, in the Mekong Delta area of southern Vietnam. The city covers an area of 65.75 km2 (25.39 sq mi) and has a population of 143,639 as of 2009. Bến Tre is 85 km south-west of Ho Chi Minh City and is connected to the surrounding provinces by the Rạch Miễu Bridge. Nearly destroyed by Allied bombing, it played a significant role in the Vietnam War. Reports of the assault and resulting civilian casualties called into question the war aims of the United States.