- As 309 Iraqi civilians killed in April: UN
At least 352 civilians have been killed in US-led strikes against Islamic Statetargets in Iraq and Syria since the operation began in 2014, the US military said on Sunday.
The military tally is far below those of outside groups. Monitoring group Airwars, for example, estimates that 3,164 civilians have been killed by coalition air strikes. Reports from Mosul, Iraq, last month detailed one strike in which at least 150 civilians were killed.
“We regret the unintentional loss of civilian lives … and express our deepest sympathies to the families and others affected by these strikes,” the Pentagon said in a statement.
“All feasible precautions were taken,” the statement said, but strikes resulted in “unintentional” loss of civilian life.
The Combined Joint Task Force, in its monthly assessment of civilian casualties from the US-led coalition’s operations against Isis, said it was still assessing 42 reports of civilian deaths.
It added that 45 civilians were killed between November 2016 and March 2017. It reported 80 civilian deaths from August 2014 to the present that had not previously been announced.
The report included 26 deaths from three strikes in March, mostly in and around Mosul, where fighting continues and a US service member was killed on Saturday.
Included in Sunday’s tally were 14 civilians killed by a strike in March that set off a secondary explosion, as well as 10 civilians who were killed in a strike on Isis headquarters the same month.
In Yemen, meanwhile, tribal and security officials said on Sunday a suspected US airstrike had killed four al-Qaida operatives.
The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media, said the operatives killed in Marib, in the east of the country, were driving a car when an unmanned aircraft targeted their vehicle.
The airstrike came less than a day after a similar strike killed three al-Qaida members in the neighboring province of Shabwa.
Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, seen by Washington as among the most dangerous branches of the global terror network, has exploited the chaos of Yemen’s civil war, seizing territory in the south and east.