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53 More Deaths

by AFP

Delil Souleiman—AFP

U.S.-led coalition fighting I.S. in Syria and Iraq admits to additional civilian casualties

The U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq has acknowledged the deaths of an additional 53 civilians, bringing the official toll to 1,114.

The coalition said in a statement on Thursday that it had conducted a total of 30,008 strikes between August 2014 and the end of August 2018.

Officials said they had examined 60 civilian casualty reports last month, and found eight of them to be “credible,” resulting in the 53 deaths. “In each of eight incidents, the investigation assessed that although all feasible precautions were taken and the decision to strike complied with the law of armed conflict, unintended civilian casualties regrettably occurred,” the coalition said.

In the deadliest of the incidents, in May 2017, a strike on I.S. positions and a bomb factory in Mosul, Iraq resulted in the unintentional deaths of 20 civilians.

Monitoring group Airwars says the number of civilian deaths acknowledged by the U.S.-led coalition is well below the true toll of the bombing campaign, estimating that at least 6,575 civilians have been killed.

The U.S.-led operations to fight I.S. in Iraq and Syria have largely wound down, with the jihadists ousted from all but a small pocket in eastern Syria.

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