That the Pentagon has a habit of dramatically undercounting the number of civilians it has killed in Iraq and Syria is increasingly itself an understatement. With heavy documentation of scores of civilians being killed in individual incidents in the month of February, the Pentagon had its work cut out for it keeping this month’s report low.
The Pentagon had to admit to a few civilians killed, of course, and by a few we mean four. Despite dozens of civilians getting killed in Mosul in multiple incidents, and despite growing attention on the civilian toll from US strikes because of the several hundred killed in March, the Pentagon would admit to only four civilians killed in February.
The Pentagon statement expressed “regret” for the deaths of the four civilians, and for “others affected by these strikes.” They provided no indication as to why the many, many other reported incidents were not included in the final report, though this is of course par for the course.
Over the course of the war, the Pentagon has admitted to 229 civilian deaths total, which is less than 10% of the overall figure. Indeed, a single incident in March was reported to have killed more than 229 civilians in Mosul, though the March report is not yet out.