The U.S.-led Coalition fighting Islamic State in Syria and Iraq acknowledged Thursday the deaths of 16 more civilians in air or artillery strikes, increasing the number of civilians killed in three years to at last 817.
Command Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve said in a statement that it had completed a review in November of 101 reports of potential civilian casualties, of which 92 were deemed non-credible.
The remaining nine, relating to strikes between March 20 and October 17, were considered credible and resulted in 11 civilian casualties.
The Coalition also added another five civilian casualties to its count, based on previous reports of attacks it had earlier said it was not responsible for.
“To date, based on the information available, CJTF-OIR assesses at least 817 civilians have been unintentionally killed by Coalition strikes” since Operation Inherent Resolve – the campaign against ISIS – began in August 2014, the statement said.
As of the end of November, 603 reports were still being examined.
Coalition forces have conducted 28,562 strikes that included 57,336 separate engagements against ISIS targets in three years, resulting in 1,799 reports of potential civilian casualties of which only 208 were deemed credible, the statement read.
According to a recent New York Times survey in Iraq, 20 percent of coalition strikes have resulted in civilian casualties, a much higher proportion than the coalition’s claimed 0.36 percent.
Monitoring group Airwars insists that the number of civilian deaths acknowledged by the U.S.-led coalition is well below the true civilian toll of the bombing campaign, estimating that almost 6,000 innocent lives have been lost.
With reporting from AFP