Friday, July 7, 2017

Civilian death toll rises to over 600 in US-led coalition airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq & Syria

A new Operation Inherent Resolve report has confirmed a total of 603 civilian deaths in the US-led air campaign in Iraq and Syria, while the UN warns of a new spike in casualties as the assault on Islamic State-held Raqqa in Syria unfolds.

“To date, based on information available, CJTF-OIR [Combined Joint Task Force] assesses that, it is more likely than not, at least 603 civilians have been unintentionally killed by Coalition strikes since the start of Operation Inherent Resolve,” the statement issued on Friday reads.

The new data has upped the total civilian death toll by more than 100, after a report last month acknowledged 484 civilian deaths.

“Although the Coalition takes extraordinary efforts to strike military targets in a manner that minimizes the risk of civilian casualties, in some incidents casualties are unavoidable. Twenty-seven reports were assessed to be credible resulting in the unintentional death of 119 civilians,” the report reads.

“To date, based on data between August 2014 and May 2017, the Coalition conducted a total of 21,910 strikes that included 46,534 separate engagements. During this period, the total number of reports of possible civilian casualties was 727.”

The data released this month indicated a drastic increase in the number of reports of possible civilian casualties, which was 440 last month, as the coalition has begun the assessments of 222 “historical reports” received from Airwars, a UK-based group that monitors airstrikes and civilian casualties in Iraq, Libya and Syria...

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