19:54 GMT24 February 2020
Listen Live
    Middle East
    Get short URL

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The US-led coalition is responsible for at least 9,600 civilian deaths in its campaign against Daesh* in Syria and Iraq, representing the highest death toll inflicted by Western military forces since the Vietnam War, a fresh report by London-based NGO Airwars said.

    "Since 2014, Airwars estimates that the Coalition is likely responsible for between 6,250 and 9,600 civilian deaths overall in the war against ISIS [Daesh], out of more than 25,000 civilian fatalities alleged locally by Iraqis and Syrians," the report read.

    The NGO went on saying that non-combatant casualties from US-led strikes "appear to be at their highest levels since Vietnam," but little has been done to calculate the official death toll from urban fighting.

    The watchdog also highlighted that strikes were often planned without thoroughly assessing the potential for casualties. According to Airwars, the coalition failed to properly assess 'unobservable' civilian harm in urban fighting and relied on remote analysis, which did not allow non-combatant damage in residential areas to be realistically estimated. The inability to carry out field analysis and assess how many people may have been hiding near targeted areas was probably the key reason why the coalition undercounted the death toll, Airwars concluded.

    READ MORE: US, Allies to Withdraw From Syria Only If Presence Harms Own Interests — Envoy

    The US-led coalition in Iraq and Syria consists of more than 70 members. The coalition's strikes in Iraq are conducted in cooperation with Iraqi officials, but those in Syria are not authorized by President Bashar Assad's government or the United Nations Security Council.

    READ MORE: Syrian Militant Reveals How US Weapons Made Their Way to Al-Qaeda

    According to the coalition's statistics, almost 900 civilians have been killed by its strikes since the onset of the campaign in 2014.

    *Daesh — a terrorist group, banned in Russia

    Results of Russian Air Campaign and US-led Coalition Intervention in Syria
    © Sputnik /
    Results of Russian Air Campaign and US-led Coalition Intervention in Syria
    civilian casualties, anti-Daesh coalition, Daesh, Syria
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via SputnikComment via Facebook