The US military admits to killing 23 civilians worldwide by 2020 | Military News


The Pentagon says most of the civilian fatalities occurred in Afghanistan, as it admits additional civilian deaths from previous years.

The U.S. military has admitted responsibility for involuntarily killing 23 civilians in foreign war zones by 2020, well below figures compiled by non-governmental agencies. But he also acknowledged more civilian deaths from previous years.

According to the Pentagon report, the count included civilian deaths in operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Yemen and Nigeria.

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) “estimates that there were approximately 23 civilians killed and approximately 10 civilians injured during 2020 as a result of U.S. military operations,” the document, which is part of an annual report required by Congress since 2018, though it remains secret.

Most of the civilian casualties were in Afghanistan, where the Pentagon said it was responsible for 20 deaths, according to the public section of the report.

One civilian was killed in Somalia in February 2020 and another in Iraq in March. The document released to the public does not specify when or where the 80-year-old victim died.

The document says that although Congress allocated $ 3 million to the Pentagon in 2020 for financial compensation to the families of civilian victims, no such compensation has been paid.

Higher count by NGOs

NGOs publish regularly much higher civilian death toll in areas where the U.S. military is active around the world.

The NGO Airwars, which lists civilians killed in airstrikes, said its most conservative estimates show that 102 civilians were killed in U.S. operations around the world, five times higher than official Pentagon figures.

The United Mission to Afghanistan (UNAMA) counted 89 dead and 31 wounded in U.S.-led coalition forces operations, Airwars said.

In Somalia, where the Pentagon recognizes only one civilian death, Airwars and other NGOs estimate the death toll at seven, while in Syria and Iraq local sources report six deaths, according to the NGO.

“Clearly, Department of Defense investigations and civil damage recognition remain tremendously inadequate,” Hina Shamsi told the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

Afghans protest in Kabul to denounce avalanche of civilian casualties caused by Western forces in the country [File: Ahmad Masood/Reuters]

“It is surprising that in 2020, the Department of Defense did not offer or make any changes to payments to affected civilians and families despite the availability of funds from Congress,” said Shamsi, who heads the national security project. ‘ACLU.

The report also acknowledged that twelve additional incidents during 2017 and 2018, which left at least 50 civilians dead and 22 more injured, “were not unintentionally reported in the past.”

An airstrike in Al-Zira in Iraq on January 6, 2017 killed 16 civilians and another in Mosul on January 12, 2017 that killed 12 civilians.

On August 13, 2017, 12 more civilians were killed and six were injured after an airstrike in Raqqa, Syria. At the time, the US and its allies were fighting ISIL (ISIS).

In addition to the 50 unreported civilian deaths, the Pentagon also said 12 civilians were killed in al-Bayda in Yemen on January 29, 2017.

“Over the past few years, DoD has continued to refine its practices and procedures for reviewing civilian casualty reports.”

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