US-Led Forces Kill Over 1000 Civilians in Iraq, Syria

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Iraq
Thursday, 10 March 2016

More than 1,000 civilians may now have died in 18 months of US-led coalition airstrikes across Iraq and Syria.

According to a Wednesday report released by UK-based monitoring group Airwars, the latest estimated figure is some 50 times more than the number of deaths so far admitted by the US-led alliance.

Airwars researchers have so far identified 352 reported civilian casualty events, in which US-led coalition aircraft killed non-combatants in the alleged war against ISIS terrorist group.

Based on credible public reports and confirmed US-led alliance strikes in the vicinity, some 166 of these incidents are currently assessed as having likely led to civilian deaths – with a reported range of 1,004 to 1,419 killed.

The US has so far confirmed just sixteen of these events, which according to the Pentagon likely killed 21 civilians (Airwars places the toll slightly higher at 34 fatalities.).

Latif Habib of Airwars who assess reports of civilian deaths in Iraq from international airstrikes says, “I feel I’m a helpless witness to 1,000 innocent victims killed by Coalition airstrikes in Iraq and Syria during the last 18 months.”

Kinda Haddad leads the Airwars team assessing Russian and US-led coalition airstrikes in Syria. She says she is troubled by the widening gulf between credible field reports of civilian deaths, and public military estimates:

Much like the war in Syria, the war against ISIS will not be won on the battlefields. It is a generational war of ideas, and as long as we give Middle Eastern lives less value than our own, we will keep on feeding the hatred and suspicion that nihilistic groups like ISIS capitalize on to recruit the young and vulnerable in all our societies.

The first alleged civilian deaths from US-led coalition strikes were reported on August 16th 2014 – just one week into the 18-month air campaign. Since then, an average of four events a week have been claimed across Iraq and Syria – though few are reported by international media.
Recent weeks have seen a worrying rise in reported fatalities, which may be linked to less restrictive rules of engagement.

There were 22 alleged Coalition civilian casualty events in February 2016 for example, which between them are claimed to have killed at least 144 civilians.

The US launched its airstrikes purportedly against ISIS terrorists inside Syria in September 2014, without any authorization from the Syrian government or the UN. It has also been carrying out airstrikes in Iraq since June 2014 allegedly targeting ISIS terrorists in the north and west of the country.

ISIL terrorists, who were initially trained by the CIA in Jordan in 2012 to destabilize the Syrian government, now control parts of Syria and Iraq. They have been engaged in crimes against humanity in the areas under their control.

Observers say while the US and its allies claim they are fighting against terrorist groups like ISIS, they in fact helped create and train those organizations to affect their policies in the Middle East.

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