U.S. military admits to killing 23 civilians worldwide in 2020 military news
The Pentagon stated that most civilian deaths occurred in Afghanistan because it admitted that more civilians died in previous years.
The U.S. military has admitted responsibility for the unintentional killing of 23 civilians in foreign theaters in 2020, far below the figure compiled by non-governmental organizations. But it also admitted that more civilians died in previous years.
According to the Pentagon’s report, the statistics include civilian deaths in operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Yemen and Nigeria.
The document stated that the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) “assessed that in 2020, approximately 23 civilians were killed and approximately 10 civilians were injured due to U.S. military operations”, which is part of the annual report required by Congress since 2018 , Although part of it is still a secret.
Most civilian casualties occurred in AfghanistanAccording to the public part of the report, the Pentagon said it was responsible for the deaths of 20 people.
One civilian was killed in Somalia in February 2020, and another civilian was killed in Iraq in March. The published documents did not specify when and where the 23rd victim was killed.
The document stated that although Congress allocated $3 million to the Pentagon in 2020 to provide financial compensation to the families of civilian victims, such compensation has not yet been paid.
NGO counts higher
Regularly released by NGOs The civilian death toll is much higher In areas where the U.S. military is active all over the world.
Airwars, a non-governmental organization that lists civilian victims of air strikes, said their most conservative estimates indicate that 102 civilians were killed in U.S. operations around the world, five times higher than the official Pentagon figure.
According to Airwars, the United Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) statistics show that 89 people were killed and 31 were injured in operations led by the United States.
The NGO said that in Somalia, where only one civilian was confirmed dead at the Pentagon, Airwars and other NGOs estimated the death toll at seven, while in Syria and Iraq, local sources said six people died.
“It is clear that the investigation and recognition of civilian injuries by the Department of Defense is still seriously insufficient,” said Hina Shamsi of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
Shamsey, head of the National Security Program of the American Civil Liberties Union, said: “It is surprising that in 2020, despite the funding provided by Congress, the Department of Defense did not provide or pay any compensation to affected civilians and families.”
The report also acknowledged that 12 other incidents in 2017 and 2018 “have been unintentionally reported in the past, resulting in at least 50 civilian deaths and 22 injuries”.
An air strike in al-Zira, Iraq on January 6, 2017 killed 16 civilians, and another air strike in Mosul on January 12, 2017 killed 12 civilians.
On August 13, 2017, an airstrike in Raqqa, Syria, killed 12 civilians and injured 6 others. At the time, the United States and its allies were fighting ISIL (ISIS).
In addition to the previously unreported 50 civilian deaths, the Pentagon also stated that on January 29, 2017, 12 civilians were killed in al-Bayda, Yemen.
“In the past few years, the Department of Defense has been improving its practices and procedures for reviewing reports of civilian casualties.”