Hundreds of Iraqi and Syrian civilians have been killed, and hundreds more wounded, by U.S.-led and Iraqi air and artillery strikes this month, human rights monitors and local officials said.
Al Jazeera and other media and independent monitor groups, including the U.K.-based Airwars and Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), report at least 23 civilians, including five women and 13 children, were killed in either a U.S.-led coalition or Iraqi air strike on Abu Kamal, Syria, near the Iraqi border. The Tuesday strike was believed to target a home and warehouse used by Islamic State (IS) fighters. Some reports put the death toll as high as 36. At least a dozen other civilians were wounded.
Airwars and local media reported a Monday air strike carried out by either U.S.-led coalition or Iraqi warplanes killed and wounded over 100 civilians in various neighborhoods of West Mosul, Iraq. Coalition officials said eight air strikes targeted IS fighters in the area.
CBS News reports an air strike likely carried out by U.S.-led coalition warplanes late Monday in Boukamal, Syria killed at least 10 civilians and wounded dozens more, with SOHR placing the death toll at 13 civilians, including women and children. Earlier that day, a separate U.S.-led strike killed seven civilians, including a child, in the Syrian village of Husseinyeh, SOHR added.
In the town of Tabaqa, in Raqqa province, Syria, international and local media, as well as monitor groups, reported six civilians were killed and 11 others wounded in at least one of the five air strikes the U.S.-led coalition acknowledged conducting there on Monday.
On Sunday, as many as 10 civilians from two families were killed in what is believed to be a coalition air strike on Kabish, in Raqqa province, Airwars, SOHR and other media and monitor groups said. Also on Sunday, the monitor group Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently (RBSS) and local media reported two children were killed in an alleged coalition air strike on a school in Hunaida, Raqqa province.
On Saturday, nine civilians were reportedly killed and others injured in a coalition air strike on Rayhana village near Anah, in Anbar province, Iraq, according to local media reports. Also on Saturday, SOHR and numerous media outlets reported as many as 17 civilians were killed and as many as 24 others wounded in a coalition or Iraqi air strike on Sukariya, Deir Ezzor, Syria. Coalition officials said an IS fuel facility was targeted in multiple air strikes. Five civilians from the same family also died and others were injured when a coalition air strike hit homes in the village of Mazra’at Yarub, Raqqa province, Syria. The coalition said it targeted IS fighters and supply routes, including a bridge.
Last Friday, five civilians were killed and eight more injured in what is believed to be a coalition air strike on Musherfa, Raqqa province, international and local media reported, as did Airwars. Earlier last week, Al Jazeera and other media reported U.S. and Iraqi bombing and shelling of the old city of West Mosul killed 73 civilians and injured well over 100 others. Last week the coalition also denied a claim by the Syrian government that the U.S.-led alliance bombed a toxic chemical storehouse used by IS, killing hundreds of civilians. The coalition called the claim “intentional misinformation.”
Other reported mass-casualty events (10 or more deaths) attributed to U.S.-led coalition or Iraqi government forces in April include:
– An April 11 “friendly fire” incident in which coalition warplanes bombed Syrian Democratic Forces fighters, who are allied with the United States in the fight against IS, near Tabaqa, Syria, killing 18.
– An April 11 coalition air strike on homes in the heavily-bombarded Yarmouk neighborhood of West Mosul, Iraq that killed 13 civilians and wounded 17 others, most of them critically.
– On April 10, a U.S. A-10 warplane allegedly bombed the Yarmouk neighborhood of West Mosul, killing 30 civilians.
– Also on April 10, as many as 17 civilians, including a woman and two children, died in what is believed to be a coalition air strike on the villages of Shoeib Al Zakar and Dibsi Faraj, Raqqa province.
– On April 9, SOHR, RBSS and local media reported as many as 10 civilians, including a woman and a child, were killed in a coalition air strike on the Tishreen Farms area of Raqqa.
– On April 8, U.S.-led bombing and Iraqi shelling of several West Mosul neighborhoods killed 13 civilians — mostly women and children — and wounded 91 others, international and local media reported.
– Also on April 8, RBBS reported a mother and her six children died when the boat on which they were crossing the Euphrates River near Sho’aib Al-Zikir in Raqqa province, Syria was bombed by a coalition warplane. Smart News Agency reported 11 bodies were found on the riverbank near the village, while other outlets reported as many as 40 civilians died on the boat.
– On April 7, the Associated Press and other media and monitor groups reported at least 15 civilians, including one or two women and four children, were killed, and as many as 24 others injured, when U.S.-led warplanes bombed an Internet cafe in Huneida, Raqqa province, Syria.
– An April 5 Iraqi or U.S.-led air strike on the al-Shafaa neighborhood of West Mosul killed at least 16 members of one family and wounded up to 25 other civilians, Airwars and local media reported.
– On April 4, 20 civilians, including many children, were reportedly killed, and six others wounded, in an Iraqi or U.S.-led air strike on the Tal Afar neighborhood of West Mosul, Iraq.
These are only the credibly reported mass casualty events attributed to U.S.-led coalition and Iraqi bombing and shelling. There have been many more reported incidents in which smaller numbers of civilians have been killed or injured, as well as many unverified or unattributable attacks. The majority of the more than 400,000 people killed in Syria’s six-year civil war have been killed by the forces of the Bashar al-Assad regime, although the human rights group Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) recently reported U.S.-led bombing killed more Syrian civilians last month than IS or Russia, which is conducting aerial bombardment and other operations in support of Assad.
More than 15 years of continuous U.S.-led war against Islamist militants in the Middle East, South Asia and North Africa have taken a heavy toll on civilians. Estimates of the number of innocent people killed range from the low hundreds of thousands to over 1.3 million. There has been a dramatic increase in civilian deaths since President Donald Trump — who promised to “bomb the shit out of” IS and kill militants’ innocent families — took office. In what could be the deadliest U.S. bombing in decades, nearly 300 bodies were recovered from the site of a March 17 U.S. strike on a residential building in Mosul’s Jadida neighborhood where IS fighters had taken up positions and held the residents as human shields.
Since the 1945 nuclear bombings of Japan that ended World War II, U.S. military forces have killed more foreign civilians than any other armed force in the world, by far.