At least 1,114 civilians have been killed since 2014 in the U.S. government’s efforts to defeat the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, the Pentagon announced Thursday.
The U.S. military, under its Operation Inherent Resolve, has conducted 30,008 strikes between August 2014 and end of August 2018, according to a Pentagon news release. During that time, 1,1114 civilians were “unintentionally killed.”
However, the number of civilian deaths could be higher because there are still 310 reports that are still open. Many of the open reports are from several years ago, including two from 2014.
“We continue to employ thorough and deliberate targeting and strike processes to minimize the impact of our operations on civilian populations and infrastructure,” the Pentagon said. “This process includes thorough review and vetting of each target package prior to a strike, and another review after that strike. Our regular strike reports make our activities publicly accessible, and our monthly publication of civilian casualty reports makes our civilian casualty assessments similarly accessible to the public.”
There is some dispute over the number of civilian deaths from U.S. military operations in Iraq and Syria.
Airwars, an organization that monitors civilian deaths in the Middle East, estimates the number killed from U.S. military operations since 2014 to be more than 6,000.
Amnesty International says the U.S. government’s numbers are artificially low because not enough investigation is undertaken to find the accurate number of civilian deaths.
“Visiting strike sites and interviewing survivors and witnesses are crucial elements of any investigation. Without them, the Coalition’s investigations are simply not credible by any stretch of the imagination,” Benjamin Walsby, Middle East Researcher at Amnesty International, said in a recent report.
Donatella Rovera, a senior researcher for Amnesty International, told The Independent that the onus is on the United Staes to get accurate reporting of civilian deaths in Iraq and Syria.
“No organisation will ever have the resources to investigate every case where the coalition bombed a building in Syria or Iraq,” she said. “They should be doing that. The problem is that they are not doing that.”