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March 2017: 1,000 civilians ‘killed by US-led coalition’ in Iraq and Syria
On 24 March, Airwars, a transparency NGO monitoring civilian casualties from international airstrikes in Iraq, Syria and Libya, sent out an email warning that the escalation of US strikes was threatening to overwhelm its capacity to monitor and assess the civilian impact.
Airwars wrote: ‘Following an unprecedented number of alleged Coalition civilian casualty events and casualties in recent weeks, Airwars has taken the difficult decision to suspend detailed assessing of alleged Russian actions in Syria – so as best to focus our limited resources on continuing to properly monitor and assess reported casualties from the US and its allies.’
Since January and for the first time since Moscow’s intervention in Syria, alleged Coalition civilian casualty incidents in the war against Islamic State have outstripped claims against Russia, according to Airwars tracking.
‘The intensity of strikes in 2017 – notably around Raqqa and Mosul – has no precedent,’ according to Airwars researcher Samuel Oakford.
‘Almost 1,000 civilian non-combatant deaths have already been alleged from Coalition actions across Iraq and Syria in March - a record claim’, Airwars wrote on 24 March. At the time of going to press, Airwars had not yet assessed the credibility of these claimed casualty events.
More info: www.airwars.org