(Talk Media News) – The U.S. military said Friday that two civilians were killed and four others injured in air strikes against the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria between July 4 and July 17, 2015.
This brings the total number of civilian casualties disclosed by the military in the anti-Islamic State fight (IS) to 16 killed and 9 injured.
“We deeply regret the unintentional loss of life and injuries resulting from those strikes and express our deepest sympathies to the victims’ families and those affected,” said U.S. Central Command, the U.S. military command overseeing the fight, spokesman Air Force Col. Pat Ryder on Friday.
The two latest civilian deaths took place in Raqqa, Syria, the self-proclaimed capital of IS.
“Raqqa is a major city, and so you see ISIL hiding among civilian populations, and using human shields to an effect,” said Ryder, using an alternate acronym for the militant group.
The strikes announced Friday that resulted in casualties include:
- On July 4, one civilian killed in a strike on IS-controlled bridges near Raqqa, Syria.
- On July 7, one civilian injured in strikes against IS fighters near Raqqa, Syria.
- On July 8, two civilians injured in strikes against a high value target near Sarmada, Syria.
- On July 11, one civilian killed in strikes against IS targets near Raqqa, Syria, on
- On July 17, one civilian injured in strikes against IS fighters traveling in a vehicle near Mosul, Iraq,
Last week, the Pentagon announced that eight civilians were killed in strikes between April 12 and July 4, 2015.
“Unfortunately, you have an enemy here with no compassion and no concern for the human cost, and so as they continue to hide among civilian populations and put civilians at risk, it puts us in a situation going forward [where] we can’t guarantee that civilian casualties won’t occur. But that doesn’t mean we’re going to stop trying to minimize them and prevent them,” Ryder said Friday.
Since the beginning of the U.S. mission, Operation Inherent Resolve, the U.S. has received 120 allegations of casualties, but it that found 87 were not credible, Ryder said. He said that the U.S. is currently investigating the 14 allegations of civilians injured or killed in American airstrikes in Iraq and Syria.
All of the airstrikes in which civilians were killed occurred within the laws of armed conflict, Ryder said, including, “The coalition takes all feasible precautions to avoid civilian casualties during the course of military operations.”