Up to 5,000 civilians killed in Norwegian backed battle against ISIS

IraqiA federal police officer carries an injured boy through a destroyed train station during fighting between Iraqi security forces and Islamic State militants, on the western side of Mosul, Iraq, (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

Between 3,000 and 5,000 civilians have so far been killed by the Norwegian backed coalition against ISIS, and the month of March was the worst since the fall of 2014, an overview shows.

The US-led coalition, which Norway participates in, went to war against the extremist Islamist group known as ISIS in September 2014.

Since then they have conducted nearly 12,000 airstrikes in Iraq and nearly 8,000 in Syria, with heavy civilian casualties as a result, according to an overview from Airwars.

The independent British organization collects and analyzes information from a variety of sources, including human rights organizations and official military sources in countries participating in the coalition.

Worst month

Between 8,300 and 12,200 civilians have so far been reported killed in coalition attacks against suspected insurgent targets in Syria and Iraq, can be deducted from their database.

After a thorough analysis of the messages and source credibility the organization concludes that the actual number in mid April was somewhere between 3.061 and 4.943.

The month of March was the worst since the coalition went to war against ISIS 32 months ago, Airwars concludes. Up to 1,216 civilians were with a high degree of certainty killed in attacks by the coalition that month, and it was over four times as many as in the previous month, they affirm.

– These are not anonymous victims, Airwars stresses, naming hundreds of victims.

 Worst in Mosul and Raqqa

The US-led coalition attacks now take far more civilian lives than the Russian attacks did when they were at the peak of their activity in Syria during 2016.

In and around Raqqa, the capital of the so-called caliphate that ISIS has proclaimed, the civilian casualties have skyrocketed. There were between 320 and 860 civilians that in all likelihood were killed by the US-led coalition in March, Airwars affirm.

– The Coalition in all probability killed hundreds of civilians in Syria in March, although this did escaped huge press coverage, the organization says.

In the Iraqi offensive to recapture western Mosul from ISIS, where the US-led coalition is a key supporter, claims are that between 1,308 and 2,435 civilians were killed in March. Airwars think they can guarantee that around 355 civilians were killed, compared to just over 60 the month before.

 “Bomb the crap out of ISIS”

Donald Trump has promised “to bomb the crap out of” ISIS, but the Pentagon denies that they have been given freer reins after he took office as President.

Iraqi officials, however, claim that it is now far easier for the country’s security forces to ask for American air support than it was previously.

US claims that very few civilians are killed in coalition attacks against presumed ISIS targets in Syria and Iraq, but claim instead to have killed over 50,000 rebels.

Airwars and human rights organizations like Amnesty International say that this lacks credibility and are highly critical of the coalition’s unwillingness to scrutinize the many reports of civilian casualties.

 

Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today

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