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January 22, 2018

US Coalition strikes against ISIS surged in 2017, says Airwars report

UK-based watchdog Airwars has reported that the number of civilian deaths caused by US and allied strikes against ISIS reached 6,000 during 2017.

UK-based watchdog Airwars has reported that the number of civilian deaths caused by US and allied strikes against ISIS reached 6,000 during 2017.

Non-combatant deaths from Coalition air and artillery strikes are reported to have increased by a rate of 200% last year compared to the figure recorded for 2016.

According to tallies, between 3,923 and 6,102 civilians are estimated to have been killed in a total of 766 events in 2017.

The significant surge experienced last year is said to be a result of the intense war against ISIS largely moving into various densely populated urban areas that were controlled by the group.

In addition, approximately 65% of all deaths resulting from Coalition actions that have been tracked by Airwars’ investigating team since 2014 were noted to have taken place over the past 12 months.

"This year, Raqqa showed how the International Coalition against ISIS has repeated the Russian and Regime tactics of ‘siege, bomb and evacuate’."

However, the number of civilian casualty events caused by US Coalition strikes in Syria during 2017 was reported to have been roughly three times the rate of those recorded in Iraq.

This was mainly due to the escalating campaign to capture the Syrian city of Raqqa from ISIS forces.

Furthermore, instances of civilian deaths across Syria increased by 335% last year to reach a total of 633 events.

It is estimated that between 2,786 and 4,374 civilians were killed during this period, compared to the 641 to 1,038 estimated deaths in 2016.

Airwars Syria team head Kinda Haddad said: “In 2016 we had seen very disturbing scenes from Aleppo, showing the destruction that indiscriminate bombing can wreak on an urban centre.

“This year, Raqqa showed how the International Coalition against ISIS has repeated the Russian and Regime tactics of ‘siege, bomb and evacuate’ in order to achieve the stated aims of defeating the terror group.”

The estimated minimum number of civilian deaths in Iraq increased by 87% in 2017 compared to the year before.

The watchdog report suggests that between 1,128 and 1,717 civilians were likely to have been killed during nearly 133 incidents in Iraq.

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