US Admits to Handful of Additional Civilian Deaths in ISIS War

Large numbers of deaths reported in east Syria remain off US list

The US government’s monthly report of civilian deaths in their operations in the ISIS war in Iraq and Syria has been released over the weekend, and as usual includes but a tiny fraction of the deaths reported by monitors and other NGOs.

The new report added 15 deaths to the overall toll, but 12 of those deaths were from a US strike in Mosul in March of 2017. The strike in question was on a munitions factory, and the US strike set off a secondary explosion killing civilians. The other deaths spanned two other, smaller incidents.

Totally absent from the official report is any record of the deaths of scores of civilians in repeated US airstrikes against the three ISIS-held towns in eastern Syria, near the Iraqi border. These strikes have been consistently reported over the past two months, but the US has almost never acknowledged such strikes, let alone admitted to any of the large number of civilian deaths.

This, of course, has been a recurring problem with the official reporting of civilian deaths, as the US rarely admits to more than a tiny fraction of the overall deaths documented by groups like the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights or Airwars. Even when the US admits to an incident, they often underreport the death toll.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of