US-led coalition admits to another 21 civilian deaths
The US-led coalition carrying out airstrikes against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria on Saturday acknowledged the deaths of 21 civilians in recent months.
The deaths bring to at least 220 the number of civilians killed since operations to defeat IS began in late summer 2014, though independent monitors say the real number is a lot higher.
A statement from the coalition said investigators had probed a series of reports alleging civilian deaths from airstrikes.
In a January 13 strike on IS fighters in a house, investigators determined that eight civilians were killed.
"During post-strike video analysis, civilians were identified near the house who were not evident prior to the strike," the coalition said in a statement.
Airwars, a London-based collective of journalists and researchers, uses local sources, photographs and media accounts to keep a detailed list of every known coalition airstrike.
The group says the number of likely civilian deaths from coalition strikes is 2,463 at a minimum.
"Although the coalition makes extraordinary efforts to strike military targets in a manner that minimizes the risk of civilian casualties, in some cases casualties are unavoidable," the coalition statement read.
Airwars estimates that the coalition has conducted at least 11,309 airstrikes in Iraq and 7,411 in Syria since operations against IS began in August 2014.