US-led coalition says more than 800 civilians killed in air strikes against IS


But monitoring group Airwars reports that nearly 6,000 civilians have been killed

Smoke billows following an air strike by US-led international coalition forces targeting Islamic State (IS) group in Mosul (AFP)
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Last update: 
Thursday 30 November 2017 14:39 UTC

The US-led coalition has admitted that at least 801 civilians have been killed in air strikes against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria.

The figure, which is far lower than reported by other monitoring groups, said that at least 801 civilians were unintentionally killed between August 2014 and October 2017.

"The Coalition and our partner forces in Iraq and Syria take extraordinary care to protect the civilian population," said the report.

"We take all reports of civilian casualties seriously and assess all reports as thoroughly as possible."

It said that since the start of the campaign against IS, more than 28,000 strikes were carried out and 1,790 reports were received of potential civilian casualties.

The coalition added they were still addressing 695 reports of civilian casualties from strikes it carried out in Iraq and in Syria.

The Coalition and our partner forces in Iraq and Syria take extraordinary care to protect the civilian population

- Operation Inherent Resolve report

Airwars, which monitors coalition airstrikes, has previously stated that at least 5,961 civilians had been killed by the strikes.

An investigation by Middle East Eye last month revealed that British planes dropped 3,400 bombs in Syria and Iraq.

Despite this, the RAF said that there had been no civilian casualties.

Samuel Oakford, a spokesperson for Airwars, told MEE: "The UK's claim that no British air strikes in Iraq or Syria have led to civilian deaths has always been difficult to believe.

"Based on the coalition's own civilian casualty reporting, it is extremely unlikely that a coalition member as active as the UK would have not had a hand in a single civilian death.

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"As the campaign continues into its fourth year and more data about British involvement such as this is compiled, the MoD's claim is becoming increasingly absurd."

The New York Times has also reported that the coalition had been under-recording the civilian death toll from its air campaign.

According to the report, one in five air strikes identified by NYT journalists had resulted in a civilian death - more than 31 times the rate acknowledged by the coalition at that time.

The two primary targets of the coalition, Raqqa and Mosul, have both now been liberated from IS.

Both cities have been left devastated and millions are currently internally displaced in both Syria and Iraq.