American-Led Coalition Admits To Killing 817 Civilians In Iraq And Syria

American Led Coalition Admits To Killing 817 Civilians In Iraq And Syria Syrian Child AGetty

The America-led coalition fighting against Isis in Iraq and Syria has admitted to killing at least 817 civilians since 2014.

These civilians were ‘unintentionally killed’ during air strikes according to The Combined Joint Task Force for Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR).

Over 600 reports remain open at this point in time, and the number of deaths recorded is still believed to be inaccurate.

Experts have now suggested the number of civilian deaths could be much higher than the figures being reported by the military.

US Central Command spokesperson, Maj. Shane Huff told journalists Azmat Khan and Anand Gopal from The New York Times:

[U.S. and coalition forces] are conducting one of the most precise air campaigns in military history.

Col. John Thomas said:

We’re not happy with it, and we’re never going to be happy with it,

But we’re pretty confident we do the best we can to try to limit these things.

However, the two investigative journalists believe some civilian deaths could have been avoided if the coalition had been able to recognise ‘past failures’, while altering operating assumptions accordingly.

The task force have reported how there were 1,799 reports of possible civilian deaths during the period August 2014 to November 2017.

However, they have stated the number of ‘credible reports’ during the same time period to be just 208.

It has been reported the task force did not respond immediately when questioned further about the criteria for a report being classed as ‘credible’ or ‘non-credible’.

According to the November 2017 report, published in The New York Times:

In the effort to expel Isis from Iraq and Syria, the coalition has conducted more than 27,500 strikes to date, deploying everything from Vietnam-era B-52 bombers to modern Predator drones.

This 18-month-long investigation – conducted by Khan and Gopal – found discrepancies in the numbers reported, after interviewing hundreds of witnesses at almost 150 sites.

In pursuit of the true figures, Khan and Gopal dug for bomb fragments in debris, searched for airstrike footage and analysed satellite imagery.

Tweeting about their findings, Khan said:

We found that 1 in 5 of the coalition strikes we identified resulted in civilian death, a rate more than 31 times that acknowledged by the coalition.

It is at such a distance from official claims that, in terms of civilian deaths, this may be the least transparent war in recent American history.

Our reporting, moreover, revealed a consistent failure by the coalition to investigate claims properly or to keep records that make it possible to investigate the claims at all.

In a monthly civilian casualty report, dated 28 December, the CJTF-OIR reported:

Despite a string of successes by Iraqi Security Forces and Syrian Democratic Forces, much work remains to ensure the enduring defeat of Daesh.

The terrorist organization is still attempting to re-establish regional networks and remains a regional and global threat through its ability to organize or inspire acts of violence against innocent people around the world.

Targets continue to be bombed within these two countries in the ongoing fight against so-called Islamic State.