Led anti-IS coalition admits 9 more civilian deaths

Jun 03, 2018, 21:14
Led anti-IS coalition admits 9 more civilian deaths

The Pentagon has told Congress it estimates that almost 500 civilians were killed as a result of U.S. military actions in the first year of the Trump administration.

The deaths reported by the Pentagon occurred in USA counterterrorism efforts against the Islamic State militant group, the Taliban and Al-Qaeda groups in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Yemen, through both ground combat operations and air strikes.

U.S. military operations around the world claimed the lives of 500 civilians in 2017, according to a Pentagon report released on Friday (local time).

"There is credible evidence that approximately 499 civilians were killed and 169 were injured in the course of 2017", - said the Pentagon.

Asked why the Pentagon did not release such a breakdown, Major Harris said that "the discrete numbers of casualties for each engagement that may have resulted in civilian casualties are in a classified annex to preserve operational security".

The report covers American-led counter terrorism airstrikes and ground operations around the world in 2017.

According to USA media reports, airstrikes carried out by US military in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan saw a significant uptick since Trump's inauguration, up by 28.7 percent in Syria and Iraq and 22.6 in Afghanistan year-on-year.

On November 1, 2017, three civilians were killed and two others wounded in a strike on a road used by IS fighters in the Deir Ezzor region of Syria's Euphrates Valley.

A 2016 executive order signed by President Obama mandated the report by calling for an annual summary on "the number of strikes undertaken by the U.S. Government against terrorist targets located outside areas of active hostilities". Rights groups criticised the administration when the May 1 deadline for the first report came and went.

As many as eight civilians were killed in the northeastern Syrian province of Hasakah in an airstrike carried out by the US-led global coalition, local media reported citing a local source.

Outside groups have said that the number of civilians killed in the ISIS fight is much higher than the coalition's figures. It added that "these differences result from a variety of factors", including the use of "different types of information and different methodologies to assess whether civilian casualties have occurred", according to CNN.

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