According to a US Central Command (USCENTCOM) press release, the US-led coalition reported recently that as a result of air strikes in Syria and Iraq, about 173 civilians were killed.
As it turned out, since September 20, 2015 there are 22 reported cases of air strikes conducted by the coalition.
The coalition has claimed responsibility only for seven sorties which led to losses of life. Those strikes likely killed 54 civilians, raising the death toll of civilians killed since the start of the 2014 campaign to 173.
12 other reports were deemed non-credible, either because there was insufficient evidence or because no coalition strikes were conducted in the area of the report.
The verification process continues on another three cases. They are still being assessed.
Against this background of Central Command’s report, it looks extremely cynical that the coalition claims it is making extraordinary efforts to strike military targets in a manner that minimizes the risk of civilian casualties.
It’s especially ridiculous when the coalition emphasizes that in some cases the casualties are unavoidable. It appears that the United States and Western countries justify their crimes well in advance? Do they really have the moral right to strike when knowing the civilians will be harmed?
It is worth mentioning that in early November of this year, the issue of civilian casualties has already been raised. APentagon’ spokesman (Col. John J. Thomas, a spokesman for United States Central Command, which oversees American military operations in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East) said that 119 civilians had been killed since airstrikes began in 2014 as a result of the anti-terrorist coalition operations. However, according to Amnesty International‘s representative Neil Sammonds, Department of defense understates by at least ten times the number of civilian casualties. Neil Sammonds also noted that the Pentagon has not yet revealed his sources of information about the victims, so is not possible to confirm or deny this information.
The international movement for human rights still fears that the Coalition’s aerial bombing campaign in Iraq and Syria has led to international humanitarian law violations and will continue to do so. An open question also remains whether it would be possible to bring to justice any of the military command or direct perpetrators for casualties caused in the Middle East by the international coalition’s air forces.