Amnesty International has issued a new statement warning that the US needs to do more to prevent civilian casualties in its coalition airstrikes in both Iraq and Syria, and cautioned the US has dramatically under-reported the number of civilians killed in their air war.
The new report centered on Syria, noting that the US-led coalition had killed at least 300 civilians in Syria, and had not admitted to the vast majority of those slain. They reported the US had killed around 250 civilians just in the city of Manbij and the surrounding area.
The US backed a Kurdish invasion of Manbij earlier this past summer, and conducted several major airstrikes in the surrounding areas, including some which killed scores of civilians. As Amnesty pointed out, the US has not officially included any civilians from the Manbij strikes on their official count, despite the incidents being well established.
Amnesty warned that the lack of official recognition raised concerns that the US had not made any corrections to their policy, and that this was particularly concerning with the ongoing invasion of the city of Mosul, which is many times larger and expected to be an even longer conflict.
The Pentagon has only acknowledged a few dozen civilian deaths in both Iraq and Syria combined. The Amnesty report, while drastically higher, is still considered very conservative, with the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights putting the US-caused civilian death toll in Syria between 600 and 1,000.
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