16:02 GMT +321 October 2019
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    A US-led coalition of over 60 nations managed to stop the offensive of Islamic State (ISIL) militants in Syria and Iraq, the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director said Sunday.

    US Greatly Understates Number of Deaths Caused by Its Airstrikes in Syria, Iraq

    © AFP 2019 / US NAVY / MC2 JACOB G. SISCO
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    The international coalition for combating terrorism, led by the United States, has accepted the deaths of at least 396 civilians between 2014 and 2017 in Syria and Iraq as a result of its airstrikes, the central command of the coalition reported.

    However, a member of the Syrian parliament, Muhammed al Husein, told Sputnik Arabic that the coalition's statement is “ridiculous” because its airstrikes have caused tens of thousands of civilian deaths in Iraq and Syria.

    “We are surprised by the figures quoted because only during one bombing of Raqqa city more than 700 unarmed residents of the city were killed,” Husein said.

    “We are used to deceitful proclamations made by the international coalition, the United States and the United Nations. We know that the coalition fights irresponsibly and insincerely with Daesh, al-Nusra and other terrorist groups. Quite the reverse, they act in the interests of the militants and provide them with protection,” the parliamentarian said.

    He further said that more than 20,000 unarmed people were killed by the coalition strikes in Syria and Iraq.

    Among them there were many women, children and the elderly, who had nothing to do with the terrorist organizations.

    Such statements by the coalition distort the real situation and underestimate the scope of crimes carried out against the civilians.

    According to UK-based activist organization Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the 42,234 documented airstrikes in the country have resulted in a minimum estimate of some 7,000 civilians killed by the US-led coalition.

    Additionally, Airwars, a UK-based nonprofit, has documented at least 20,997 airstrikes in the war, leading to an estimated minimum of 3,164 civilians being killed as a result of US-led coalition attacks since 2014.

    Keeping counts is hard, particularly without knowing how many bombs the Pentagon has actually dropped in the area, as Human Rights Watch has reported a high degree of difficulty in getting accurate reporting concerning the civilian death toll.

    But experts observe that the higher figures are thought to more closely resemble the truth, as the Pentagon has a history of downplaying collateral damage.

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    Tags:
    casualties, interview, deaths, civilians, anti-Daesh coalition, Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Syria
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