Adding to concerns about the civilian toll of the US air war against ISIS targets, the Pentagon today admitted that they carried out an airstrike against the parking lot of a Mosul hospital, conceding that they “may have killed civilians” in the attack.
The Pentagon’s Combined Joint Strike Force said in a statement that they were after a van they suspected of carrying ISIS fighters, and they blew it up in the parking lot of what “was later determined to be a hospital.” The US has previously insisted all hospital sites in Mosul were well known and that they were taking extreme care not to hit civilians.
Yet this is the second time this month the US-led coalition has bombed a hospital’s property, with a previous attack deliberately targeting the city’s main hospital complex at the behest of the Iraqi government. The Pentagon insisted at the time they “did not have any reason to believe” they killed any civilians, but conceded they had no idea if there were even patients at the hospital.
The Pentagon has made a habit of dramatically underreporting civilian casualties in the ISIS war, with some reports suggesting that the actual toll of civilians killed by the US may be as many as ten times the “official” figures. This is the result of the Pentagon largely not investigating allegations of large figures they deem “not credible,” and revising downward the numbers slain in already well-documented incidents by the time they get around to putting them in the reports.