Pentagon Again Dramatically Underreports Civilian Deaths in Iraq, Syria Bombings

Claims 188 Killed, With Other Monitors Saying Toll Tenfold Higher

The Pentagon has once again offered a new statement on the civilian casualties which have resulted from the US-led coalition air war against ISIS territory in Iraq and Syria, adding 15 more “unintentional civilian deaths” in the month of November, bringing the official death toll overall to 188.

As has been true throughout the war, the official US figures are dramatically lower than the estimates from monitor groups, and indeed far lower than what has been documented by the media, with most of the incidents not even being fully investigated by the US, but just deemed “non-credible.”

Exactly how much larger the death toll is remains a matter of some speculation, but monitors like Air Wars have suggested the toll at about 2,100 civilians killed overall, and even more conservative estimates put the figure around 1,000 reflective of just how absurdly low the official figure is.

This huge discrepancy is reflective not just of the Pentagon systematically dismissing a large portion of incidents as “non-credible,” but of lowering the death tolls in even the incidents they do admit to. The Manbij killlings, for instance, were 56 killed at the low end, with locals saying it could be as many as 200 at the high end. When the US finally got around to including the figure in their report, they would admit only to “up to 24” killed.

This new report only goes through November, and does not include multiple documented incidents in December, including two incidents in which US warplanes hit hospitals in Mosul.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of