Led anti-IS coalition admits 9 more civilian deaths

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The report which provides an estimate of the number of civilian casualties in counterterrorism operations in 2017 also said the Defense Department has "no credible reports" of civilian casualties as a result of USA military operations in Somalia or Libya previous year.

The Pentagon said US military operations in six countries killed nearly 500 civilians in 2017, in an annual report that was released to the public for the first time on Friday.

On January 9, 2017, near the Iraqi city of Mosul, two civilians were killed when a vehicle loaded with explosives that was heading towards coalition positions was struck, the statement said. "The U.S. Government shall maintain and promote best practices that reduce the likelihood of civilian casualties, take appropriate steps when such casualties occur, and draw lessons from our operations to further enhance the protection of civilians". The report did not include figures from Somalia or Libya, as there were "no credible reports" of civilian casualties there.

Trump also placed thousands more troops on the ground in Afghanistan and Iraq, along with an indefinite military presence in Syria. 4,361 bombs were dropped in Afghanistan in 2017, compared to 1,337 in 2016.

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The report asserted that "although civilian casualties are a tragic and unavoidable part of war, no force in history has been more committed to limiting harm to civilians than the USA military".

Delivery of the report was mandated by a 2016 executive order signed by then-President Barack Obama and by the subsequent passage of Section 1057 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018.

The deaths were a result of US military operations in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Yemen, the report said, adding that the casualties were " tragic but at times an unavoidable effect of combat operations". So far, the number of civilians injured due to military operations is at 169, but that number could rise as well.

Monitoring group Airwars says the number of civilian deaths acknowledged by the US-led coalition is well below the true toll of the bombing campaign, estimating that at least 6,259 civilians have lost their lives. The Pentagon report shrugs off civilian casualties, calling them an unavoidable outcome of war.

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