Pentagon Vastly Underreports Civilian Deaths in ISIS War

Claims US Killed 1,257 Civilians Since August 2014

The last Pentagon report on civilians killed in US airstrikes against ISIS since August 2014 is out, and as usual is vastly below the estimates provided by NGOs using even the limited public domain information available about the area.

Officially, since August 2014, the US has killed 1,257 civilians in 34,038 airstrikes in Iraq and Syria. As with most reports, the new one added only a token number of additional slain civilians, while continuing to lag behind the real reports on the matter.

In practice, the figure was already many thousand, and since the last report was offered the US killed several hundred more civilians in strikes against the ISIS remnant villages in eastern Syria. Those figures appear not to be included at all in the new report.

The fact that so many large, well-established incidents and operations have been willfully omitted from the record leaves some wiggle room to argue that those are still under review, while the Pentagon maintains they are counting everyone they have information on. Yet they seem to make little effort to find such information, and if scores are killed in a strike, it is routine for the Pentagon report to round down to 20% or so of the real figure, and claim they couldn’t verify the rest.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of