1,300 civilians killed in air war on Daesh: US-led coalition

A military plane with the US-backed coalition against Daesh releases a bomb over the embattled village of Baghouz on February 19, 2019 in the northern Syrian Deir Ezzor province. (AFP)
Updated 31 May 2019

1,300 civilians killed in air war on Daesh: US-led coalition

  • Figure is far lower than the death tolls given by groups which have monitored the conflicts in Syria and Iraq
  • Coalition has repeatedly said it does all it can to avoid civilian deaths

BEIRUT: The US-led coalition said Friday it had unintentionally killed more than 1,300 civilians in air strikes during its fight against the Daesh group in Iraq and Syria since 2014.
The figure is far lower than the death tolls given by groups which have monitored the conflicts in the two countries.
“The coalition conducted 34,502 strikes between August 2014 and the end of April 2019,” it said in a statement.
During this period, it “assesses at least 1,302 civilians have been unintentionally killed by coalition strikes.”
The coalition said it was still assessing 111 additional claims of civilian deaths, and was ready to receive new allegations or fresh evidence to review.
The coalition has repeatedly said it does all it can to avoid civilian deaths.
Airwars, an NGO which monitors civilian casualties from air strikes worldwide, estimates more than 7,900 civilians have been killed in coalition raids — well in excess of the total acknowledged by the coalition.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitor, says coalition strikes have taken the lives of 3,800 civilians in Syria alone.
Daesh militants seized large swathes of Iraq and Syria in 2014, declaring a “caliphate” in areas they controlled.
But several offensives with coalition backing chipped away at the “caliphate” until it was declared eliminated on March 23.
Ambushes and hit-and-run attacks have continued in both countries.
The coalition is continuing to work “to deny Daesh any physical space and influence in the region as well as deny Daesh the resources they need to resurge,” it said, using an Arabic acronym for Daesh.


Syria Kurds hand over four Daesh-linked children to Germany

Updated 49 min 16 sec ago

Syria Kurds hand over four Daesh-linked children to Germany

  • They included a boy and two sisters who had lost both parents, and a fatherless girl infant
  • A spokeswoman for the German foreign ministry confirmed the handover to staff from its consulate

SIMALKA CROSSING: The Kurdish authorities in northeast Syria on Monday handed over four children linked with the Daesh group to Germany, their first such repatriation to the European country, an official said.
“The autonomous region handed over four children from Daesh families to a delegation from Germany,” said Fanar Kaeet, a foreign affairs official with the Kurdish authorities.
They included a boy and two sisters who had lost both parents, and a fatherless girl infant who was repatriated for health reasons, Kurdish authorities said.
All are under 10 years old, they said.
A spokeswoman for the German foreign ministry confirmed the handover to staff from its consulate in neighboring Iraqi Kurdistan at the Simalka border crossing.
“I can confirm that four children who were in custody in northern Syria were able to leave Syria,” she said.
“The children were received on the Iraqi-Syrian border by staff of the consulate in Irbil and will be given to family members,” the spokeswoman said.
“From there, the children and their family members will, we believe, travel to Germany.”
Syria’s Kurds have spearheaded the US-backed fight against Daesh in Syria, and in March expelled the extremists from their last patch of territory in the war-torn country’s far east.
Even as they fight remaining sleeper cells, thousands of alleged Daesh fighters and family members are being held in their custody.
These include hundreds of suspected foreign fighters in their jails, and thousands of their alleged family members in overcrowded camps.
Western countries have been largely reluctant to repatriate their nationals.
But France and Belgium have brought a handful of orphans home, while the United States last year repatriated a woman with her four children.
Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kosovo have repatriated dozens of women and children.
Daesh overran large parts of Syria and Iraq in 2014, proclaiming a “caliphate” there, but offensives in both countries have seen them lose that territory.
A dozen children of alleged jihadist fighters have been repatriated from Iraq to Germany since March.