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US-led anti-IS coalition admits 28 more civilian deaths

The coalition said it was investigating another 476 reports from the campaign [Getty]

Date of publication: 27 April, 2018

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The US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq acknowledged the deaths of another 28 civilians on Thursday, increasing the overall toll to at least 883.
Nearly 900 civilians have been killed by the US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq, updated figures showed on Thursday.

Another 28 civilian deaths were acknowledged by the coalition, increasing the overall toll of non-fighters killed to at least 883.

The coalition said in a statement that it had completed a review in March of 49 reports of potential civilian casualties from air and artillery strikes, of which all but three were deemed not credible.

The three incidents occurred in Iraq and Syria last year.

On May 25, 15 people were killed in an airstrike on an IS "media centre and headquarters” near al-Mayadin in Syria's eastern province of Deir az-Zour.

"The investigation assessed that although all feasible precautions were taken and the decision to strike complied with the law of armed conflict, unintended civilian casualties unfortunately occurred," officials said in a statement.

An April 27, 2017 strike on an IS headquarters in the Syrian city of Raqqa saw 11 civilians killed, and a May 16 strike killed two others - investigators were still looking at another 476 reports from the campaign.

The coalition conducted a total of 29,254 strikes between August 2014 and the end of March 2018 in Iraq and Syria but monitoring group Airwars says the number of civilian deaths acknowledged by the US-led coalition is well below the true toll of the bombing campaign, estimating that at least 6,259 civilians have been killed.

The coalition's toll of non-fighters killed dates from 2014.

IS swept across large parts of Syria and neighbouring Iraq in 2014, declaring a cross-border "caliphate" in areas they controlled.

Syrian and Iraqi forces have since driven IS from nearly all the territory it once held, except for a small presence in the remote desert areas along the border.

The US-led operations to fight IS in Iraq and Syria have largely wound down after the militants were forced out from more than 98 percent of territory they once held.

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