ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Over 1,000 civilians have been “unintentionally” killed by US-led coalition airstrikes over the past four years, the coalition announced on Sunday.
“The Coalition has worked by, with, and through partners since 2014 to defeat ISIS [Islamic State] in designated parts of Iraq and Syria, liberating nearly 8 million Iraqis and Syrians from ISIS’s brutal rule and reducing its control of territory to approximately one percent of what it previously held,” read a statement released by the coalition.
Following the emergence of the Islamic State (IS) in 2014 in Iraq and Syria, the US formed a global coalition, made of 79 countries from around the world, to combat the jihadist group.
The coalition, over the past few years, has provided military and humanitarian support to local Iraqi forces and Kurdish fighters in Iraq and Syria to defeat IS.
“We continue to employ thorough and deliberate targeting and strike processes to minimize the impact of our operations on civilian populations and infrastructure,” the statement explained.
It mentioned that they are willing to “consider new civilian casualty allegations as well as new or compelling evidence on past allegations to establish accountability based on the best available evidence.”
“The Coalition conducted a total of 31,406 strikes between August 2014 and end of November 2018. During this period, based on information available, CJTF-OIR [Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve] assesses at least 1,139 civilians have been unintentionally killed by Coalition strikes since the start of Operation Inherent Resolve,” the statement affirmed.
In its statement, the coalition argued its forces work diligently to be precise in their airstrikes during the planning and execution of airstrikes to reduce the risk of harm to civilians.
Iraq declared victory against IS in December 2017, but the jihadist group continues to launch insurgency attacks, ambushes, car bombs, and kidnappings in various parts of the country.
In neighboring Syria, the jihadist group continues to maintain control of some small pockets in towns near the border with Iraq as warplanes target their movements, notably over the past few months.
Editing by Nadia Riva