Less than estimated: US admits to killing civilians
In a tally that is far less than the reports issued by NGOs, the US military admits to killing 23 civilians around the world in its military operations.
The US military admitted to killing 23 civilians in the military operations it carried out during the past year, the majority of which are in Afghanistan. The toll reported by the Pentagon is far less than the estimates of NGOs.
The United States Department of State indicated in the report that, despite Congress allocating a budget of $3 million to DoD to financially compensate the affected families, none of these families received any of these compensations.
The DoD said in the report that Congress obliges it to prepare annually since 2018, and it declassifies part of and keeps the other part classified, that "DoD assesses that there were approximately 23 civilians killed and approximately 10 civilians injured during 2020 as a result of U.S. military operations."
According to the report, the vast majority of the casualties occurred in Afghanistan, where the US military declared its responsibility for the death of 20 civilians, while the rest of the civilian casualties occurred as follows: one was killed in Somalia in February, and one in Iraq in March. There is one last casualty whose death's location and time the DoD did not disclose in the declassified part of the report.
The report also acknowledged 12 additional incidents in 2017 and 2018, which left at least 50 civilians killed and 22 others injured, which brings the total casualties of those two years to 65 deaths and 22 injuries, the majority of whom are in Syria and Yemen.
According to Airwars, which assesses each civilian harm incident in air strikes around the world, the most conservative estimates indicate that last year 102 civilians were killed in US military operations around the world, which is almost 5 times the amount of the injuries that DoD acknowledged.
Airwars quoted the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) for saying that in 2020, 89 civilian deaths and 31 injuries were recorded in the operations carried out by the US military-led coalition forces.
In Somalia, where the United States acknowledged killing one civilian, Airwars and other NGOs estimated that the US killed seven civilians there. The same NGO quoted local sources in Iraq and Syria for saying that the US killed six civilians in its military operations there.
ACLU said that the Department of Defense's investigations and acknowledgment of responsibility for civilian deaths remain horribly insufficient.