1,000 Civilians Estimated Killed in Air Campaign Against ISIL
IRAQ & SYRIA — The air campaign against ISIL in Iraq and Syria has reached a grim milestone with estimates now putting the civilian death toll at 1,000. This estimate is fifty times greater than the number of civilian deaths the US led coalition has admitted to in it’s 18 month campaign against ISIL.
Researchers with the non-profit group AirWars have identified 352 “reported civilian casualty events” in which coalition aircraft allegedly killed between 2,232 to 2,961 non-combatants, according to an AirWars press release.
However, not all the reports are credible. Of those reports, 166 were deemed to have likely led to civilian deaths, ranging from 1,004 to 1,419 killed.
During the 18-month air campaign dubbed Operation Inherent Resolve, the United States has admitted to 16 events. The Pentagon stated that these strikes likely led to the deaths of 21 civilians. AirWars estimates that number to be closer to 34.
The United States is the only nation of the 12-nation coalition that has admitted to civilian casualties despite more than 10,800 coalition strikes and 39,715 bombs and missiles dropped.
These estimates do not include Russian airstrikes.
AirWars local casualty assessor in Baghdad, told his colleagues “I feel I’m a helpless witness.”
As of February 15, the total cost of Operation Inherent Resolve since it’s inception on August 8, 2014, is $6.4 billion with the average daily cost being $11.5 million.