Pentagon Admits Killing 132 Civilians in 2019

Denies any civilian deaths in Libya or Yemen

A new report from the Pentagon offers specific data on civilian deaths in US military operations in 2019, admitting to having killed 132 civilians and wounded 91 others in actions across Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and Somalia.

These annual reports are mandated by Congress, but that doesn’t stop the Pentagon from systematically under-reporting civilian casualties. This has been heavily true in Syria and Iraq, where high-profile attacks with well-documented civilian casualties often are missed in official reports, or with alternate death tolls of only about 10% of the actual toll.

The report claimed the overwhelming majority of the deaths came out of Afghanistan, where the Pentagon admitted 108 deaths. Twenty-two others were admitted in Syria and Iraq combined, with two more in Somalia.The Pentagon claimed no civilian deaths in either Libya or Yemen.

One of the biggest incidents in Afghanistan saw the US attack pine nut harvesters in Nangarhar, killing over 30 people in a single attack. The harvesters had gotten approval from Afghan officials for the harvest, knowing it was near combat areas, but the US still claimed those civilians were somehow in league with ISIS.

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.