Watchdog: Over 400 Civilians Killed In US Airstrikes On Syria

A US Air Force plane takes off as a Turkish Air Force fighter jet taxis at the Incirlik airbase, southern Turkey, Sunday, Sept. 1, 2013. (Photo: AP/Vadim Ghirda)

A US Air Force plane takes off as a Turkish Air Force fighter jet taxis at the Incirlik airbase, southern Turkey, Sunday, Sept. 1, 2013. (Photo: AP/Vadim Ghirda)

A new summary of casualties from the US-led coalition airstrikes against Syria by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says that since September of 2014, the strikes have killed nearly 4,900 people, mostly ISIS but also including 417 civilians.

The observatory’s numbers put the overall civilian deaths at 417, with 111 of them children under the age of 18, and at least 70 women. That the majority slain were adult men reflects several strikes hitting factories or other businesses that were mistaken for militant targets.

That’s ten times as many civilians as the Pentagon has confirmed killing over the course of the entire war, and the Pentagon’s figures cover both Iraq and Syria, whereas the Syrian Observatory numbers are only the Syrian side of the war, the part that’s been going on for less time and has seen less overall coalition strikes.

The Pentagon has, generally speaking, dismissed reports of civilian deaths in airstrikes as “not credible,” even as they loosen the rules of engagement to allow planes to deliberately attack targets in which civilians are likely to be present.

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