Civilian casualties in the war against ISIS on track to double under Trump

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Since President Trump took office, approximately 12 or more civilians have been killed every day by U.S.-led coalition troops in Iraq and Syria in the war against the Islamic State, an Airwars investigation for The Daily Beast has found. The Trump administration is on track to double the number of civilian casualties, with 2,200 civilians reportedly killed in total since Trump’s inauguration. At least 2,300 civilians are believed to have died under the Obama administration’s command.

The coalition’s own civilian casualties reports are significantly lower than those kept by independent watchdog groups like Airwars, with forces taking responsibility for a total of 603 civilian deaths. Yet in just one attack in Mosul in March, correspondents told The Independent that the U.S-led coalition killed upwards of 240 Iraqi civilians.

On the campaign trail, Trump vowed to “knock the hell out of ISIS” and “take out” the families of terrorists. In office, he formally requested “changes to any United States rules of engagement and other United States policy restrictions that exceed the requirements of international law regarding the use of force against ISIS.” Civilian deaths are also likely up for a number of other reasons, such as tougher end-phase battles against the terrorist organization.

In early June, war crimes investigators for the United Nations concluded U.S.-backed air strikes are causing a “staggering loss of civilian life.” Read more about The Daily Beast‘s Airwars investigation here.



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