Strikes killed 499 civilians in 2017, says Pentagon

US military actions killed nearly 500 civilians in Trump's first year: report | TheHill

U.S. Strikes Killed Nearly 500 Civilians in 2017, Pentagon Says

U.S. military actions have killed nearly 500 civilians in 2017, and the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) said the casualties were sometimes "unavoidable", according to a report released Friday.

That number could rise, as "more than 450 reports of civilian casualties from 2017 remained to be assessed".

Friday was the first time the Pentagon released figures for civilian casualties caused by US military ground and air operations around the world in response to a new requirement by Congress for 2018.

The Defence Department "has no credible reports of civilian casualties resulting from USA strikes in Somalia in 2017", the report said. To date, the Coalition has conceded 93 events in which it confirms having killed or injured civilians during 2017-up from 58 such confirmed events for 2016.

Not only has the Pentagon "deemed that the vast majority of claims of civilian casualties are not credible without ever investigating them", she said that the "investigations that do occur by the Defense Department also do not appear to involve interviews with witnesses nor survivors, nor visits to the locations of the strikes".

After a recent air strike on Syria, President Trump wrote on Twitter that the attack was "perfectly executed" and "mission accomplished". 4,361 bombs were dropped in Afghanistan in 2017, compared to 1,337 in 2016. The report did not include figures from Somalia or Libya, as there were "no credible reports" of civilian casualties there.

A 2016 executive order signed by ex-President Barack Obama, and later enshrined by Congress, mandated that the Defense Department give an annual accounting of the number of civilians killed in us counterterrorism strikes around the world.

"Civilian casualties are a tragic and at times unavoidable effect of the use of force in situations of armed conflict or in the exercise of a state's inherent right of self-defense", Obama stated in the order.

Monitoring group Airwars says the number of civilian deaths acknowledged by the US-led coalition is well below the true toll of the bombing campaign, estimating that at least 6,259 civilians have lost their lives.

The deaths bring to "20 the number of civilians killed by the coalition in 24 hours east of the Euphrates River", said the Observatory, which relies on a network of sources across Syria for its reports.

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