Airwars, an advocacy organization tracking airstrike casualties, says there have been at least 4,000 civilian deaths from coalition strikes since last August in Iraq and Syria.
But the U.S. has only acknowledged causing around 400 fatalities based on its own investigations. Yet in Iraq specifically, American planes have carried out at least 68 percent of the total airstrikes.
Airwars’ concern is shared by other groups. Last month, Human Rights Watch issued a statement saying, “Rising civilian casualties from aerial operations have heightened concerns regarding coalition and Iraqi forces’ use of airstrikes. The use of explosive weapons with wide-area effects such as air-dropped bombs of 500 lbs and above, … in densely populated civilian areas of western Mosul may be resulting in civilian casualties. … Such disproportionate military attacks are prohibited under international humanitarian law.”