UN: US Airstrikes Contributing to Record Civilian Deaths in Afghanistan

Both civilian and child deaths reach a wartime high

A new UN report on the Afghan War has concluded that over 3,800 civilians were killed in Afghanistan in the past year, including 930 children. Both of these numbers are the highest level recorded for a single year since the US invasion in 2001.

Record death tolls have been well-established by previous reports. The UN however also added that Afghan forces, and the US military’s growing campaign of airstrikes, killed most of the children.

Pointing this out is likely to anger NATO. Official NATO reports claim that the overwhelming majority of deaths are the Taliban’s fault, though investigations tend not to be very rigorous beyond reach the desired conclusion. NATO claimed they’d killed only 62 civilians all year in airstrikes.

The NATO figures aren’t credible at all, given how many media reports of substantial casualties in US airstrikes. In most of those cases, NATO claimed to be “aware” of the allegations, though this figure shows that they largely were not included in the official file.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.