Most civilian deaths in Iraq, Syria occurred under Trump: Report
Over three-quarters of civilian deaths in Iraq and Syria during the so-called US-led war against the Daesh terror group, also known as ISIL, occurred under Donald Trump’s presidency, according to new figures by the US military.
A total of 831 civilians have been “unintentionally killed” by coalition forces since 2014, according to the Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve, the joint task force established by the US-led coalition against Daesh.
Data released by the coalition on January 2, 2017, just a few weeks before Trump took office, found that at least 188 civilians had been “unintentionally killed” by US-led strikes since the start of the operation in 2014.
But the death toll has increased significantly over the last 12 months since Trump’s inauguration on January 20, 2017, albeit there is still an imprecise count of civilian deaths in the conflict.
A US military helicopter targets vehicles in Iraq’s al-Anbar Province, killing seven civilians and wounding 11 others, including a local official.
The coalition has been criticized by several experts for under-counting the number of civilian deaths. It did not start issuing monthly civilian casualty numbers until March 2017.
Airwars, a watchdog group that monitors civilian casualties in Iraq and Syria, says the number of civilian deaths was between 11,000 and 18,000.
A report by The Associated Press last month put the estimated number of civilian deaths in Mosul alone at 9,000.
The group also said the number of airstrikes by the coalition, made up almost entirely of US military aircraft, had increased by nearly 50 percent in Iraq and Syria in 2017 compared with the previous year.
According to a report by The New York Times about civilian casualties in November, “in the effort to expel ISIS from Iraq and Syria, the coalition has conducted more than 27,500 strikes to date, deploying everything from Vietnam-era B-52 bombers to modern Predator drones.”
The real number of American troops deployed to Syria and Iraq are much higher than what the Pentagon has announced, new US government data shows.
The US-led coalition has not obtained permission to operate within Syrian borders, has not been in coordination with the Syrian government or military, and has failed to achieve its declared goal of degrading and destroying Daesh.
The US is widely accused of assisting Daesh in both Iraq and Syria in a variety of ways, including air dropping weapons for them and striking local forces fighting the terror group.