A U.S. Marine fires an M777-A2 Howitzer in the early morning at an undisclosed location in Syria, on June 3, 2017. The Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve said at least 624 unintentional civilian deaths have occurred since the campaign against the Islamic state in Iraq and Syria began in 2014.
Matthew Callahan/U.S. Marine Corps/UPI | License Photo
Aug. 5 (UPI) -- U.S. coalition strikes in Iraq and Syria have killed more than 600 civilians since the campaign against the Islamic State began in 2014.
The coalition, known as Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve, shared the updated number of civilian deaths during ground artillery or air strikes during the three-year operation in its monthly report on Friday.
"To date, based on information available, CJTF-OIR assesses that, it is more likely than not, at least 624 civilians have been unintentionally killed by Coalition strikes since the start of Operation Inherent Resolve," the coalition said.
The coalition added that although "extraordinary efforts" are taken to carry out strikes in a way that minimizes civilian casualties, "in some incidents casualties are unavoidable."
Figures are based on "credible" reports of incidents between August 2014 and June 2017. In that time, the coalition has carried out 22,983 strikes.
"A credible assessment means it is more likely than not a Coalition strike resulted in a civilian casualty," the coalition said. "In each of the incidents below, the investigation assessed that although all feasible precautions were taken and the decision to strike complied with the law of armed conflict, unintended civilian casualties unfortunately occurred."
During the most recent monthly tally, the coalition completed assessments of 132 reports of possible civilian deaths, of which seven were deemed to be credible. Those strikes resulted in a total of 21 unintentional civilian deaths, though many reports they looked at were from 2016.