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

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

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

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.

In the report, it has been pointed out that Pentagon had no credible reports of civilian casualties from Libya and Somalia.

On January 9, 2017, near the Iraqi city of Mosul, two civilians were killed when a vehicle loaded with explosives that was heading towards coalition positions was struck, the statement said.

United States military operations around the world claimed the lives of 500 civilians in 2017, according to a Pentagon report released on Friday (local time). "The U.S. Government shall maintain and promote best practices that reduce the likelihood of civilian casualties, take appropriate steps when such casualties occur, and draw lessons from our operations to further enhance the protection of civilians".

But several Defense Department officials acknowledged privately that the Pentagon's decision not to publicly release a breakdown of numbers by country gives more fuel to critics who say the department is trying to blur the civilian death numbers. The report added that a further 450 reports of civilian casualties from the same period have yet to be examined.

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Trump also placed thousands more troops on the ground in Afghanistan and Iraq, along with an indefinite military presence in Syria.

"Despite the best efforts of US forces, civilian casualties are a tragic but at times unavoidable outcome of combat operations", the report said. In Iraq and Syria, 39,577 bombs were released in 2017, up from 30,743 in 2016. According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, between 380 and 801 civilians were killed by drone strikes alone between 2009 and 2015, as Obama ramped up the US' targeted-killing program.

The report was delivered under a mandate signed into effect by executive order by then-President Barack Obama in 2016.

These figures are disputed, and Airwars, a nonprofit group tracking the war, claims that over 6,000 civilians have been killed since 2014. The Pentagon report shrugs off civilian casualties, calling them an unavoidable outcome of war.

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