US-led coalition in Iraq and Syria acknowledges more civilian deaths
WASHINGTON: The US-led coalition fighting the IS group in Syria and Iraq acknowledged on Thursday the deaths of 16 more civilians in air strikes, increasing the toll of civilians killed in three years to at least 817.
The coalition said in a statement that it had completed a review in November of 101 reports of potential civilian casualties, of which 92 were deemed non-credible.
The remaining nine, relating to strikes between March 20 and October 17, were considered credible and resulted in 11 civilian casualties.
The coalition also added another five civilian casualties to its count, based on previous reports of attacks it had earlier said it was not responsible for.
“To date, based on the information available, (the coalition) assesses at least 817 civilians have been unintentionally killed by Coalition strikes” since the beginning of the campaign against the Islamic State (IS) in August 2014, the statement said.
As of the end of November, 603 reports were still being examined.
Coalition forces have conducted 28,562 strikes against IS targets in three years, resulting in 1,799 reports of potential civilian casualties of which only 208 were deemed credible, the statement read.
According to a recent New York Times survey in Iraq, 20 percent of coalition air strikes have resulted in civilian casualties, a much higher proportion than the coalition’s claimed 0.36 percent.
Monitoring group Airwars insists that the number of civilian deaths acknowledged by the US-led coalition is well below the true civilian toll of the bombing campaign, estimating that almost 6,000 innocent lives have been lost.