Organization: coalition strikes killed up to 744 civilians in Iraq, Syria

A crater made by an airstrike against Islamic State militants is pictured in Mosul, Iraq, February 3, 2017. REUTERS/Ahmed Saad

Baghdad ( Strikes by the United States-led coalition against Islamic State killed up to 744 civilians in the group’s epicenters in Iraq and Syria, an independent organization has said.

“Across Iraq and Syria, Airwars tracked a record 223 alleged Coalition casualty events during June, likely killing a minimum of between 529 and 744 civilians – a rise of 52% on May’s estimated totals,” said the London-based independent think-tank of journalists and researchers.

“June was the second deadliest month for civilians in Iraq and Syria since the start of Coalition actions in August 2014,” according to the report.

The organization said it detected a 21% rise in munitions dropped on western Mosul during that month as operations successfully liberated the heartland of the Islamic State in the Old City area.

It, did not, however, mention an exact number of civilian casualties in Mosul.

“In Syria, the sharp increase in munitions fired had a devastating impact on civilians. Likely deaths among civilians from Coalition actions rose by 47% from May, to an all time high,” said Airwars. “At least 415 non-combatants were likely killed, most of them in Raqqa governorate” .

U.S.-backed, Syria Kurdish paramilitaries launched an offensive early June to retake Raqqa, Islamic State’s largest haven in Syria, after months of  airstrikes and bombing.

According to Airwars, the civilian tolls resulted from 3,049 air and artillery strikes in Iraq and 9,971 in Syria.

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