Less Than 0.1% Of US Anti-ISIS Airstrikes Kill Civilians

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Saagar Enjeti White House Correspondent
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The Pentagon’s civilian casualty assessments of the nearly 12,000 strikes conducted against the Islamic State, indicates that less than 0.1 percent mistakenly killed civilians.

The 24 airstrikes killed a total of 119 civilians in Iraq and Syria. The Pentagon report indicates each strike followed proper procedure and did not violate international laws governing armed conflict. “Significant precautions were taken, despite the unfortunate outcome,” U.S. Central Command Spokesman Col. John J. Thomas told reporters.

“In cases where we just don’t have the investigative resources or evidence to determine precisely how many people may have died, we went with the worst-case number to ensure a full accounting,” Thomas told reporters describing the methodology.

The website for U.S. Operation Inherent Resolve against ISIS indicates the U.S. conducted 12,354 strikes in Iraq and Syria since the commencement of operations. The remainder of the anti-ISIS coalition conducted 3,605 strikes in both countries against the terrorist group. These strikes destroyed 31,900 ISIS targets since August, 2014.

The website also indicates the U.S. has spent $9.3 billion since August, 2014, with a daily cost of approximately $12 million.

The Pentagon’s civilian casualty report comes months after The White House revealed the number of civilian casualties from U.S. drone strikes.

The Obama administration believes the U.S. killed between 64 and 116 civilians in drone strikes, along with 2,500 terrorists, outside of active war zones since Obama took office in 2009. The administration defines active war zones as Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria. That number indicates 21 terrorists are killed for every civilian casualty on average.

The administration emphasized the U.S. government “goes to extraordinary lengths to minimize the risk of civilian casualties.” The report highlights  that a lack of a uniformed enemy is one of the central conundrums of fighting a 21st Century war on terror.

“We recognize that U.S. counter terrorism strikes have killed non-combatants, a reality that exists in all conflicts,” the Director of National Intelligence report said. The report ensures that the U.S. has stringent targeting standards in place, saying that any strike decision is “supported by weapons testing data and combat observations, informs the analysis as to whether those not specifically targeted would likely be injured or killed in a strike.”

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Saagar Enjeti