US-led coalition admits to killing 817 civilians in Iraq and Syria air strikes

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The US-led coalition fighting Isis in Iraq and Syria says it has killed at least 817 civilians in air strikes since 2014. It continues to bomb targets in the region and said that, despite the Iraqi government’s declaration of victory, “much work remains to ensure the enduring defeat of [terror group Isis]” according to the US military.

The military stated the civilians were “unintentionally killed” and that more than 600 reports remain open at this time. 

Experts have said the real number of civilian deaths could far exceed the military figures. 

According to a New York Times report about civilian casualties in November, “in the effort to expel Isis from Iraq and Syria, the coalition has conducted more than 27,500 strikes to date, deploying everything from Vietnam-era B-52 bombers to modern Predator drones.” 

Major Shane Huff, a spokesman for the US Central Command, told the newspaper that it is “one of the most precise air campaigns in military history.”

However, there is still an imprecise count of civilian deaths in the conflict. 

The Iraqi government “declared the liberation of former Daesh-controlled areas” on 10 December, the Combined Joint Task Force for Operation Inherent Resolve said in a statement. 

According to the command Isis “is still attempting to re-establish regional networks and remains a regional and global threat” in part because of its ability to “organise or inspire” violent acts around the world. 

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