Does the U.S. Ignore Its Civilian Casualties in Iraq and Syria?
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of New York Times
Posted: September 5th, 2016
As the United States and its allies continue their bombing campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, many more noncombatants are perishing than they seem prepared to admit. Airwars, the organization I lead, at present estimates that at least 1,500 civilians have been killed by the United States-led coalition. Similar or higher tallies are reported by other monitoring groups, like Iraq Body Count and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. But coalition officials have publicly admitted just 55 deaths. It may just be a matter of looking. Our policy is not to go out and seek allegations of civilian casualties, a senior official from United States Central Command, or Centcom, which oversees the bombing campaign, told me recently when I asked about the discrepancy between reports of noncombatant deaths and official investigations. It took about 15 months into the war for any admission of civilian deaths in Iraq - despite thousands of airstrikes and more than 130 reported incidents. An average of 173 days still passes between a civilian casualty in Iraq or Syria and any public admission of responsibility. The Pentagon is not alone in its accounting failures. Russia still denies the more than 2,000 deaths it has most likely caused in Syria, while all 12 of the United States coalition partners insist they have killed only bad guys. This then is a systemic problem, one that suggests militaries are at present unfit - or unwilling - to count the dead accurately from above.
Note: The above was written by Chris Woods, author of Sudden Justice: Americas Secret Drone Wars. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.