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US-Led Coalition Killed 188 Civilians in Syria, Iraq

A US jet party to the airstrikes against IS takes off. A US jet party to the airstrikes against IS takes off.

The US-led coalition has admitted to “unintentionally” killing at least 188 civilians in Syria and Iraq since 2014 when the airstrikes against the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group began.

A majority of civilian casualty reports were rejected as “non-credible”, Russia Today reported.

“To date, based on information available, CJTF-OIR has assessed that, it is more likely than not, at least 188 civilians have been unintentionally killed by coalition strikes since the start of Operation Inherent Resolve,” the US Combined Joint Task Force–Operation Inherent Resolve said on Monday in its monthly assessment of civilian casualties from the US-led coalition airstrikes.

“CJTF-OIR regrets the unintentional loss of civilian lives resulting from coalition efforts to defeat IS in Iraq and Syria, and expresses our deepest sympathies to the families and others affected by these strikes.”

The task force added that although the coalition makes extraordinary efforts to strike military targets in a manner that minimizes the risk of civilian casualties, in some incidents casualties are unavoidable.

The coalition received 16 new and assessed seven previously received reports on possible civilian casualties during November 2016. However, only five of them were found credible and proved that airstrikes led to 15 unintended civilian deaths, according to the coalition.

Thirteen reports were “assessed to be non-credible”, and five reports were still being accessed, according to US military officials.

Former Pentagon official, Michael Maloof, believes the majority of reports labeled “non-credible” shows an alarming lack of intelligence available to the US-led coalition.

“The United States is supposed to double check and triple check, make sure that there’s no such thing as civilians in harm’s way. But, given the reality on the ground there, it’s the case,” Maloof told RT.

“When they talk about not-credible sourcing, [it] basically means they don’t have enough information to determine whether or not there was actual collateral damage of civilians being killed. And that really means that we don’t have intelligence on the ground and we shouldn’t be bombing in areas where we lack good intelligence on the ground.”

Officials are currently probing the strike on December 29, which targeted a van of IS militants.

“The van was struck in what was later determined to be a hospital compound parking lot resulting in possible civilian casualties,” the task force said a previous statement.

At the end of December 2016, the coalition backed by the US had conducted more than 17,000 strikes against IS, according to the US military. More than 10,000 took place in Iraq and over 6,000 in Syria.

The US-led coalition regularly carries out strikes to support anti-terror ground operations in Iraq and Syria, some of which results in civilian casualties.

Human right groups, however, claim that the US is understating the civilian death toll, with Amnesty International insisting that at least 300 people were killed in just 11 airstrikes that were probed.

The US-led coalition, consisting of more than 60 states, began conducting airstrikes against the terrorist group in Syria and Iraq in 2014 without authorization from the official Syrian government or the UN Security Council.

 

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