US-Led Coalition Admits Killing at Least 800 Civilians by Airstrikes in Syria, Iraq

Smoke rises after a US airstrike, as the Iraqi army pushes into TopZawa village during an operation against ISIS militants near Bashiqa near Mosul, Iraq October 24, 2016. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah
Smoke rises after a US airstrike, as the Iraqi army pushes into TopZawa village during an operation against ISIS militants near Bashiqa near Mosul, Iraq October 24, 2016. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah
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US-Led Coalition Admits Killing at Least 800 Civilians by Airstrikes in Syria, Iraq

Smoke rises after a US airstrike, as the Iraqi army pushes into TopZawa village during an operation against ISIS militants near Bashiqa near Mosul, Iraq October 24, 2016. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah
Smoke rises after a US airstrike, as the Iraqi army pushes into TopZawa village during an operation against ISIS militants near Bashiqa near Mosul, Iraq October 24, 2016. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah

At least 800 civilians have been killed by US-led coalition airstrikes against the ISIS terrorist group in Iraq and Syria since the campaign began in 2014, according to a Pentagon report released Thursday.

Five more strikes, all in Syria, were investigated over the past month and found to have resulted in 15 civilian additional civilian deaths, the report stated.

“We continue to hold ourselves accountable for actions that may have caused unintentional injury or death to civilians,” the coalition said in its report.

However, monitoring groups say the number of civilian casualties from coalition airstrikes in the fight against ISIS is far higher than the Pentagon acknowledges.

Since August 2014, more than 5,000 civilians have been killed as a result of coalition airstrikes in Iraq and Syria, according to the London-based Airwars organization that tracks civilian deaths in the anti-ISIS operations.

The majority of civilian casualty allegations are currently from coalition airstrikes in Syria. The Pentagon says they are still assessing 695 reports of civilian casualties, more than 400 of which are from strikes carried out in Syria.

US-backed Syrian forces retook the city of Raqqa from ISIS control in October and pushed ISIS militants out of a swath of territory along the Euphrates river valley in the following weeks.

Each investigation that found an allegation credible determined it was "more likely than not" that a coalition strike resulted in a civilian casualty, the report stated.

"Although all feasible precautions were taken and the decision to strike complied with the law of armed conflict, unintended civilian casualties unfortunately occurred," the Pentagon added.

Since the start of the campaign against ISIS, the coalition has carried out more than 28,000 strikes and has received 1,790 reports of potential civilian casualties, the report said. These airstrikes have contributed to fueling progress against ISIS by Iraqi and Syrian ground forces, reducing ISIS-held territory to pockets of desert along the Iraqi-Syrian border.



Israel Pounds Central Gaza Camps, Deepens Invasion of Rafah

A view of a damaged building, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, at the Rafah Crossing, Gaza, in this screengrab obtained from a social media video released on June 19, 2024. Doron Kadosh, Glz/via REUTERS
A view of a damaged building, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, at the Rafah Crossing, Gaza, in this screengrab obtained from a social media video released on June 19, 2024. Doron Kadosh, Glz/via REUTERS
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Israel Pounds Central Gaza Camps, Deepens Invasion of Rafah

A view of a damaged building, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, at the Rafah Crossing, Gaza, in this screengrab obtained from a social media video released on June 19, 2024. Doron Kadosh, Glz/via REUTERS
A view of a damaged building, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, at the Rafah Crossing, Gaza, in this screengrab obtained from a social media video released on June 19, 2024. Doron Kadosh, Glz/via REUTERS

Israeli forces pounded areas in the central Gaza Strip overnight, killing three people and wounding dozens of others, according to medics, while tanks deepened their invasion into Rafah in the south, residents said.
Israeli planes struck a house in Al-Nuseirat camp, killing two people and wounding 12 others, while tanks shelled areas in Al-Maghazi and Al-Bureij camps, wounding many other people, health officials said, according to Reuters. Nuseirat, Maghazi, and Bureij are three of Gaza's eight historic refugee camps.
In Deir al-Balah, a city packed with displaced people in the central Gaza Strip, an Israeli airstrike killed one Palestinian and wounded several others on Thursday, medics said.
The Israeli military said on Wednesday forces were continuing their operations across the enclave targeting militants and military infrastructure in what it described as "precise, intelligence-based" activities.
More than eight months into the war in Gaza, Israel's advance is now focused on the two last areas its forces had yet to storm: Rafah on Gaza's southern edge and the area surrounding Deir al-Balah in the center. The operations have forced more than a million people to flee since May, the vast majority already displaced from other parts of the enclave.
In Rafah, near the border with Egypt, Israeli tanks stationed deep in the western and central areas of the city stepped up bombardment, forcing more families living in the far coastal areas to flee northward. Some residents said the pace of the raid has been accelerated in the past two days.
"The tanks took control of most of the areas in Rafah. People living by the beach have also started to leave toward Khan Younis and central areas in fear because of the continued bombardment," said Abu Wasim, a resident from Rafah's Al-Shaboura neighborhood, who quit his home over a week ago before tanks rolled in reaching the heart of the city.
Rafah housed over half of Gaza's 2.3 million people until May 7 when Israeli forces began the ground offensive into the city. Fewer than 100,000 are now believed to be left behind.
There has been no sign of let-up in the fighting as efforts by international mediators, backed by the United States, have failed to persuade Israel and Hamas to agree to a ceasefire.
The armed wings of Hamas and Islamic Jihad said fighters battled Israeli forces with anti-tank rockets and mortar bombs, and have in some areas detonated pre-planted explosive devices against army units.
On Thursday, Israeli authorities freed 33 Palestinians who had been detained during the past months by Israeli forces in different areas of the enclave. The freed detainees were admitted into Al-Aqsa Hospital in Deir Al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip after they complained of torture and mistreatment by Israeli jailers.