United States military killed almost 500 civilians in 2017, Pentagon says

Pentagon says nearly 500 civilians killed in US military operations in Trump's first year

Pentagon says nearly 500 civilians killed in US military operations in Trump's first year

"We acknowledge differences exist between USA military assessments of the number of civilian casualties and reporting from NGOs", Maj.

There are still "450 reports of civilian casualties", however, that "remained to be assessed", indicating the Pentagon itself could increase the toll.

As President Donald Trump participated in the coast guard's change of command ceremony Friday morning, the Pentagon told Congress it estimated USA military action killed almost 500 civilians previous year.

According to the coalition's statistics, 883 civilians had been killed by its strikes since its operation started in 2014.

But the deaths raised questions about growing American military involvement in Somalia after President Trump approved expanded operations, often in support of Somali forces, against the Shabab, an extremist group linked to Al Qaeda. The report did not include figures from Somalia or Libya, as there were "no credible reports" of civilian casualties there.

The number of airstrikes in 2017 in Afghanistan was 4,361 versus 1,337 in 2016 and the number of strikes in Iraq and Syria in 2017 was 39,577 versus 30,743 in 2016, according to Air Forces Central Command.




The only comparable figures released by former President Barack Obama came in 2016, when he signed an executive order requiring the government to release figures for civilian casualties caused by USA airstrikes meant to target combatants in non-war zones.

That order called for "an annual summary" detailing the "the number of strikes undertaken by the US Government against terrorist targets" outside areas of active hostilities as well as information regarding the number of terrorists and civilians killed in those strikes. The Pentagon report shrugs off civilian casualties, calling them an unavoidable effect of war.

It was the first time ever Pentagon released figures for civilian casualties caused by USA military operations.

As many as eight civilians were killed in the northeastern Syrian province of Hasakah in an airstrike carried out by the US-led global coalition, local media reported citing a local source.

Other organizations claimed that the number of civilian deaths was significantly higher.

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