Pentagon Continues to Vastly Underreport Civilians Killed in ISIS War

NGOs have documented several times as many killed in US strikes

While the US air war against ISIS in Iraq and Syria is mostly over, the Pentagon continues to dutifully release civilian casualty reports that are both preposterously low, and which falsely take credit for efforts to kill fewer civilians.

This latest report put the overall death toll of the US war in both Iraq and Syria to 1,114 civilians, since 2014. Even passing familiarity with NGO figures shows this is far too low. Airwars has put the figure at 6,575 civilians in the same period.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also issued their own statement just a few days earlier than the Pentagon, estimating that the Pentagon had killed around 3,300 civilians in that period of time, and covering only Syria.

Estimates have shown comparable numbers of deaths in US wars in both Iraq and Syria, but the Pentagon’s official figures skip many of the biggest incidents as “not credible,” and in other cases will offer official death tolls that are a mere fraction of the documented number of bodies found.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.