These announced casualties raise the total number of civilians killed in the air campaign to 41, and another 20 injured.
Washington (Talk Media News) – U.S.-led coalition airstrikes aimed at nine Islamic State targets in Iraq and Syria killed 20 more civilians and injured 11 others between September and February, a U.S. military spokesman said Friday.
The additional casualties raise the total number of civilians killed in the air campaign to 41, and 20 injured.
The U.S.-led coalition has conducted near 7,800 airstrikes in Iraq since bombing began in August 2014 and near 3,800 in Syria since bombing began in September 2014. The strategy of the ISIS war revolves around training and arming local forces who are backed by coalition airstrikes.
The casualties release comes days after the U.S. military admitted that the final decision on an airstrike is no longer made at the combatant command level, but rather by commanders in Iraq, USA Today reported.
A spokesman for the the U.S. military command over seeing the Middle East, Air Force Col. Patrick Ryder, told reporters that the U.S. regrets the casualties. He said the the campaign is the “the most precise air campaign in the history of warfare.”
“There is no such thing as an intentional civilian casualty,” Ryder said. “We are attempting to avoid civilian casualties, but in these cases, unfortunately, we assess that it was likely that civilians had died.”
“In this type of armed conflict, particularly with an enemy who hides among the civilian population, there are going to be, unfortunately, civilian casualties at times,” he added.
The incidents released Friday were conducted by both manned and unmanned aircraft, Ryder said. Below are the strikes detailed by the military:
- On Sept. 10, 2015, in Kubaysah, Iraq, near Hit, during a strike on an ISIL checkpoint, two civilians were killed and four were injured when their vehicle appeared in the target area after weapons were in flight.
- On Oct. 5, 2015, in Atshanah, Iraq, near Al Huwayjah, during a strike on ISIL personnel, eight civilians were killed during a strike on a mortar fire position used by enemy fighters.
- On Nov. 4, 2015, in Al Huwayjah, Iraq, during a strike on an ISIL vehicle, two civilians were injured. The incident occurred when, after weapons were in flight, the ISIL vehicle unexpectedly pulled off the side of the road near a building where two civilians were standing.
- On Nov. 12, 2015, in Ramadi, Iraq, during a strike targeting ISIL fighters, one civilian was killed.
- On Dec. 10, 2015, near Ar Raqqah, Syria, during strikes against Siful Sujan, an ISIL external operations planner, one civilian was killed.
- On Dec. 12, 2015, in Ramadi, Iraq, during a strike on ISIL personnel at a suspected ISIL checkpoint, five civilians were killed after they unexpectedly moved into the target location after weapons were in flight.
- On Dec. 24, 2015, in Tishreen, Syria, near Manbij, during a strike on two ISIL fighters in a vehicle, one civilian on a motorcycle was killed riding up to the target area after weapons were in flight.
- On Jan. 11, 2016, near Mosul, Iraq, during a strike on five ISIL individuals guarding an ISIL cash distribution station, one civilian was killed and five were injured.
- On Feb. 2, 2016, in Al Ghazili, Syria, near Ayn Isa, during a strike on an ISIL vehicle, one civilian was killed after unexpectedly driving into the target area after weapons were in flight.