Saskatoon StarPhoenix


- The Associated Press

Investigat­ions conducted during March reveal that U.S.-led coalition airstrikes targeting ISIL in Iraq and Syria killed 45 civilians, mostly in and around the Iraqi city of Mosul, according to a Pentagon statement released Sunday.

In each incident, the Pentagon said “all feasible precaution­s were taken,” but the strikes still resulted in “unintentio­nal” loss of civilian life.

The report did not include findings from an ongoing investigat­ion into a March 17 strike targeting ISIL fighters in Mosul. That strike resulted in more than 100 civilian deaths, according to reports from residents. Last month, the U.S. acknowledg­ed coalition planes conducted a strike “at the location correspond­ing to allegation­s of civilian casualties,” but did not confirm the reports of high civilian casualties.

The Pentagon acknowledg­ed at least 352 civilians have been killed by coalition strikes in Iraq and Syria since the start of the air campaign against ISIL in 2014. Activists and monitoring groups put the number much higher. The London-based monitoring group Airwars reported that coalition strikes have killed more than 3,000 civilians in Iraq and Syria since 2014.

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