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A civilian toll we don't hear about

The "war" against ISIS continues unabated.   It makes for good headlines.  And there is little doubting that IS is a scourge in many ways.   But in the "war" against ISIS, there are innocent civilians being killed.  The Pentagon owns up to 2 deaths.   The truth seems to be otherwise.

"As of this month, the US-led coalition has been bombing Islamic State targets in Iraq and Syria for one year. So far, it has carried out over 5,900 strikes. In that time, the Pentagon has admitted to only two civilian deaths, continually insisting that its precision weapons have minimized civilian fatalities to a remarkable level—too remarkable to be believed. In June, Lt. Gen. John Hesterman, former combined forces air component commander, called the current air war against ISIS “the most precise and disciplined in the history of aerial warfare.”

However, in a report published this month, a monitoring group called Airwars has documented at least 459 civilian deaths that it says were likely the result of the coalition bombing campaign—a far cry from the two deaths that have so far been admitted. Each of these incidents has been reported by two or more credible sources and occurred in an area where Airwars confirmed there was a coalition airstrike. Many are backed up by photographs, videos, and biographical information about the victims. The revelation is hardly surprising, given the history of civilian deaths resulting from US-led air campaigns. In the first year of the Iraq War, aerial bombing resulted in over 2,000 deaths. In Afghanistan, over 3,000 civilians were killed in the first year of the aerial campaign. What is most surprising about the bombing of ISIS over the past year is that even after widely reported mass-casualty incidents in those previous wars, major media outlets have been slow to challenge the Pentagon’s unrealistic claims."

Continue reading this report from The Nation here.


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