Pentagon: 45 civilians killed by coalition strikes

Barsaba Taglieri
Mag 12, 2017

The statement said the audit found that 80 civilian deaths caused by coalition airstrikes had not been previously publicly reported and two civilian deaths previously reported were found to have not been caused by the coalition.

Earlier, the Unami said a total of 6,878 civilians were killed and 12,388 wounded in 2016, adding that the figures did not include the civilian casualty figures for Anbar province for the months of May, July, August and December.

"It is more likely than not, at least 352 civilians have been unintentionally killed by Coalition strikes since the start of Operation Inherent Resolve", said a statement from the operation's Combined Joint Task Force (CJTF-OIR), which analyzes each reported incident, and counts those where civilian deaths seemed "likely". Monitoring group Airwars, for example, estimates that 3,164 civilians have been killed by coalition air strikes.

On March 17, U.S. planes attacked and destroyed three buildings in Western Mosul's Old City, burying massive numbers of civilians under the rubble.

Iraqi forces have made steady progress in west Mosul but, even with only a few hundred fighters left, the militants are expected to make a bloody last stand in the narrow streets of the Old City.

Monitors have warned that Mosul's civilians are living in tough humanitarian conditions as a result of the months-long siege on the city due to the lack of essential services such as electricity.

Critics, including monitoring groups, say the real total number of civilian casualties is much higher than the official tally reported by the USA military.

A decorated U.S. Army paratrooper killed while fighting ISIS last week in Iraq has been identified by the Pentagon. The Iraqi military and its allies, including Iran-backed Shiite Muslim militias, Kurdish forces and a USA -led coalition, secured Mosul's eastern half at the beginning of the year and have advanced, despite fierce resistance from ISIS in the western part of the city.

The coalition insisted that the IS group is using civilians as human shields, which is making hard for the United States military to avoid civilian causalities. The Trump administration has stopped disclosing how many troops are deployed in those countries, "In order to maintain tactical surprise, ensure operational security and force protection", a Pentagon spokesman tells The Los Angeles Times. Some U.S. special operators are reportedly embedded with the Iraqi Security Forces inside the city.

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