Defense

Coalition: At least 831 civilians killed since start of ISIS war

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The U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) acknowledged Thursday that it had killed another 14 civilians, bringing its count since the start of the war to 831.

“Although the coalition takes extraordinary efforts to strike military targets in a manner that minimizes the risk of civilian casualties, in some incidents casualties are unavoidable,” the coalition wrote in its latest monthly civilian casualty report, released Thursday.

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The coalition has long been accused of severely undercounting the number of civilians it has killed. For example, prominent monitor Airwars says at least 6,047 civilians have been killed by the coalition since the start of the war in 2014.

In the latest report, the coalition finished assessing 218 reports of civilian casualties. Of that, the coalition found 207 to be “non-credible.”

“A finding of non-credible in many cases indicates a lack of evidence,” the report said. “ ’Non-credible’ is not intended to deny the possibility that a [civilian casualty] incident occurred, nor is it intended as a comment on the credibility on the source of the allegation.”

Another five of the 218 reports were found to be duplicates from previously assessed reports, the coalition said.

The remaining six reports were deemed to be credible, resulting in 13 more civilian deaths. The coalition also said there was one death left out from a previous report.

“A credible assessment means it is more likely than not a coalition strike resulted in a civilian casualty,” the report said. “In each of the incidents below, 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 unfortunately occurred.” 

The coalition said it continues to assess 406 reports of civilian casualties.

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