Raqqa Civilian Killings by the U.S. Military 89% Unreported

Ryan Lau | @RyanLau71R

In its involvement in the Middle East, the United States military has been responsible for the deaths of many civilians. Likewise, coalitions that it has led, funded, or aided have caused the collateral deaths of many children and other defenseless citizens in hospitals in Yemen, Syria, Iraq, and other countries in the region. But now, a recent Amnesty report suggests the United States reported just over one-tenth of the civilian casualties in Raqqa, Syria.

Casualties in Raqqa

The city is in the Northeast part of Syria, part of the self-governing region of Rojava. ISIS claimed the city as their capital in 2014, holding it until recently; a U.S.-led coalition removed the terror cell from the city from June to October of 2017. But in doing so, they also turned their weapons towards a number of civilians.

The coalition, which also included France and Great Britain, took over the city after nearly four years of Islamic State occupation. However, they did not accomplish all of their goals.

Lieutenant General Stephen J. Townshend is the commander of the coalition. He has asserted that “the Coalition’s goal is always for zero human casualties”. Yet, two figures show that they were unable to succeed in this goal in Raqqa.

The United States military has reported that their coalition killed at least 180 civilians during the period between June and October. However, Amnesty International released a recent report that calls even that into question.

In April of 2019, their released report asserted that in reality, there were far more civilian deaths in Raqqa. Their conservative estimate of the figure is 1600 civilians, 788% higher than the United States estimate. They also claim to have directly verified 641 of these, already more than three times higher than the American report. Of over a thousand named victims, ages range from infancy to well into the 80s.


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