U.S.-Led Attacks on IS Have Likely Killed Hundreds of CiviliansBy
At least 603 unintentional deaths since 2014: U.S. Centcom
Coalition has conducted over 21,000 airstrikes in three years
At least 603 civilians have been “more likely than not” unintentionally killed during U.S.-led coalition strikes on Islamic State in Iraq and Syria since the campaign began three years ago, the U.S. Central Command said on Friday.
The death toll was calculated after an assessment by the Combined Joint Task Force of Operation Inherent Resolve, the name of the military campaign, it said in a statement. To date, based on data between August 2014 and May 2017, the coalition conducted a total of 21,910 strikes. There were 727 reports of possible civilian casualties and 145 credible reports of civilian casualties during the period, it said.
After Islamic State seized a swath of Iraq and Syria in June 2014, the U.S. put together a coalition of about 60 nations to fight the group, a campaign mostly of airstrikes coupled with efforts to strengthen local forces.
The coalition is backing the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, which are leading the fight against the militant group in Raqqa, Islamic State’s self-declared capital, and Iraqi forces and allied militias who have expelled the fighters from most of the city of Mosul.