US-led Coalition Admits Killing at Least 188 Civilians in Syria, Iraq
The US-led coalition admitted to "unintentionally" killing at least 188 civilians in Syria and Iraq since 2014 when the airstrikes against Daesh [the Arabic acronym for the Takfiri "ISIS/ISIL" group] began. The majority of civilian casualty reports were rejected as "non-credible."
"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 ‘ISIL' in Iraq and Syria and express our deepest sympathies to the families and others affected by these strikes," the statement continued.
"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," the task force added.
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.
The majority of the reports labelled "non-credible" shows an alarming lack of intelligence available to the US-led coalition, believes former Pentagon official Michael Maloof.
Officials are currently probing the strike on December 29 which targeted a van of the Daesh militants.
At the end of December 2016, the coalition backed by the US had conducted more than 17,000 strikes against Daesh, 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 ground anti-terror 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.
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team