The US-led coalition said Thursday it had unintentionally killed at least 1,319 civilians in strikes during its fight against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria since 2014.
The figure is far lower than the death tolls given by groups that have monitored the conflict in the two countries.”The coalition conducted 34,514 strikes between August 2014 and the end of May 2019,” it said in a statement.
During this period, it “assesses at least 1,319 civilians have been unintentionally killed by coalition strikes.”
The coalition, which has repeatedly insisted it does all it can to avoid civilian deaths, said it was still assessing 159 additional reports of civilian casualties.
Airwars, an NGO that monitors civilian casualties from air strikes worldwide, estimates more than 8,000 civilians have been killed in coalition raids.
In a report released in late April, Amnesty International and Airwars found that coalition air and artillery strikes killed more than 1,600 civilians just in the four-months blitz to oust IS from the Syrian city of Raqa.
IS jihadists seized large swathes of Iraq and Syria in 2014, declaring a “caliphate” in areas they controlled.
But several offensives with coalition backing chipped away at the “caliphate” until it was declared eliminated on March 23 of this year.
Ambushes and hit-and-run attacks have continued in both Iraq and Syria.
“The coalition will continue to work with partner forces to deny Daesh any physical space and influence in the region as well as deny Daesh the resources they need to resurge,” the coalition said, using an Arabic acronym for IS.
Mark Meadows tries to dismiss new bombshell during frantic press gaggle: ‘Everybody has their impression of what truth is’
Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) defended President Donald Trump from new revelations from his acting ambassador about a July 26 phone call by questioning the notion of objective truth.
Bill Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, told a House impeachment inquiry that he learned Friday that one of his staff members overheard Trump ask EU ambassador Gordon Sondland about "the investigations," one day after the president asked his Ukrainian counterpart to investigate Joe Biden.
Meadows, a North Carolina Republican and one of the president's chief defenders, gave a frantic news conference shortly afterward.
George Kent destroys right-wing conspiracy theory Ukraine interfered in 2016 election: ‘No factual basis’
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent debunked a right-wing conspiracy theory that it was Ukraine -- not Russia -- who intervened in the 2016 election.
Kent was interviewed by former federal prosecutor Daniel Goldman, who is currently serving as a senior advisor and director of investigations for the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
"Are you aware this is all part of a larger allegation that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election?" Goldman asked.
"Yes, that is my understanding," Kent replied.
"To your knowledge, is there any factual basis to support the allegation that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election?" Goldman asked.
‘Very damaging to the president’: Chris Wallace says first impeachment hearing left scorch marks on Trump
Fox News host Chris Wallace on Wednesday reacted to the first public impeachment hearing by calling it "very damaging to the president."
During a break in the proceedings, Wallace said that President Donald Trump should be worried about the testimonies of Bill Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, and George Kent, the deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian Affairs.
Wallace said that he expected the hearing to be "pretty devastating."
"I think that William Taylor was a very impressive witness and was very damaging to the president," the Fox News host explained. "He took very copious notes at almost every conversation. When he put quotes in his opening statement, he said those were direct quotes from what was said."