With the US once again escalating the war in Afghanistan, the number of US warplanes dropping munitions on the central Asian country are on the rise, and with it, the number of civilians being killed in those strikes.
Seemingly every month the US announces that coalition munitions dropped are up dramatically from the month prior, and while a lot of the civilian casualties are officially still just “under investigation,” the UN is openly expressing concern about the rising toll.
The UN has reported 466 civilian casualties, including 205 deaths, just in the first nine months of 2017, which is already a 52% increase from the number killed in 2016. With strikes continuing to escalate, the final figure will only be higher.
This comes amid reports that the US strikes in Iraq and Syria are on the decline, which may allow more of America’s air power to be recommitted further east to Afghanistan, where insurgents still hold vast amounts of territory, and where the Afghan government is generally ambivalent about incidents in which civilians are slain.