Over 1,500 Civilians Killed By US Coalition In Iraq And Syria

Yemenis walk past graffiti showing a US drone. Photograph: Yahya Arhab/EPA

Yemenis walk past graffiti showing a US drone. Photograph: Yahya Arhab/EPA

More than 1,500 people have been killed by the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria, London-based Airwars monitoring group said in a report released on the second anniversary of the beginning of the airstrikes against the extremist group.

“To August 8th 2016—the second anniversary of the air war—an overall total of between 3,462 and 4,736 civilian non-combatant fatalities had been alleged from 527 separate reported incidents, in both Iraq and Syria,” Airwars said in a report.

“Of these, Airwars presently estimates that a minimum of 1,568 civilians are likely to have died in Coalition actions.”

The monitoring group said the coalition carried out more than 14,300 strikes defined as any raid in which one or more munitions are dropped. Also the coalition increased its attacks against the Islamic State group in the second year by 39 percent.

The group added that “at least 441 children and 245 women are reported to be among those killed in confirmed and likely events, along with 1,355 or more civilians reportedly injured.” The group added that the U.S.-coalition has only admitted to killing less than 50 civilians.

Most of those strikes, 95 percent of them according to Airwars, have been carried out by the U.S. military. While the coalition includes 12 countries including the U.K., France and Saudi Arabia, Washington is responsible for rules of engagement for the entire coalition,

The news comes a few weeks after a U.S. airstrike killed at least 56 civilians near the Syrian town of Manbij during battles between the anti-Syrian government group, the Syria Democratic Forces and the Islamic State group.

Also Airwars told Middle East Eye last month that the U.S.-led coalition “appears to have loosened its rules of engagement in Syria and is putting civilian lives at greater risk.”

The U.S. says that after two years of airstrikes the extremist group’s territory shrunk by 40 percent in Iraq, and between 10 and 20 percent in Syria.

However, the large death toll casts doubts on foreign interventions in Syria by a range of countries and groups as they battle the extremist group at the expense of the local population.

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