In a significant shift from Centcom’s long-standing policy of blanket refusals to admit to civilian deaths in airstrikes against ISIS targets, the Pentagon today issued a statement admitting to eight civilians killed in the second quarter of 2015 in three separate incidents.
The incidents included a missile strike against Iraq’s Hawija killing two people, and two strikes against Raqqa Province, Syria killing six others. All told, this brings the number of civilian deaths the Pentagon has admitted to in the war to 14, along with claims of well over 20,000 ISIS killed.
Monitoring groups tell a vastly different story, and back in September put the overall civilian death toll at over 400. Centcom has refused to investigate most of those reports, insisting they don’t find them credible enough to even both probing.
This week’s airstrike in Mosul is also known to have killed several civilians, with US officials off the record saying they were willing to kill “up to 50” civilians destroy a pile of money, and that their initial estimates were that 5-7 civilians were killed. The Pentagon hasn’t publicly confirmed this toll, however, and may never do so.