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US-led coalition confirms killing 16 civilians in Iraq, Syria

The US-led coalition has acknowledged the deaths of sixteen more civilians in its airstrikes against what it called Daesh positions in Iraq and Syria.

The coalition released the figure in a Thursday statement, claiming that the civilian deaths were unintentional.

The statement claimed that the total number of civilians it has killed in both countries has reached 817 since it began airstrikes there more than three years ago.

“To date, based on the information available, (the coalition) assesses at least 817 civilians have been unintentionally killed by Coalition strikes” since the beginning of the campaign in August 2014, the statement said.

The reported estimate of civilian deaths comes as independent monitors have time and again challenged US-led coalition reports and revealed that the military campaign has significantly inflicted more civilian casualties.

The true civilian death toll of the US-led bombing campaign in Iraq and Syria is really high, the London-based Airwars organization has said. It has estimated that almost 6,000 innocent lives have been lost.

A recent New York Times survey in Iraq has revealed that about 20 percent of coalition air strikes have resulted in civilian casualties, which is a much higher proportion than the coalition’s claimed 0.36 percent.

The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported on November 23 that 2,759 civilians, including 644 minors and 470 women, had been killed in US-led aerial attacks against civilian areas in Syria over the past 38 months.

The Britain-based monitoring group added that the US-led air raids had claimed the lives of 98 people, including four children and as many women, between October 23 and November 23 this year.