The U.S. Pentagon has vastly under-reported civilian deaths from airstrikes in Iraq and Syria—by half.
According to new figures released Wednesday by U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), 119 civilians died since bombing against the Islamic State (ISIS) began in 2014, an update that now includes an additional 64 deaths between November 2015 and September 2016.
Previously, CENTCOM only acknowledged 55 civilian deaths since airstrikes began. The new figures come after an internal investigation was launched into the bombing campaign after rights groups accused the U.S. military of “significantly underestimating” the toll on civilians and infrastructure.
Those groups, such as Amnesty International, have put the death count much higher, estimating that more than 1,700—and possibly over 2,500—civilians have been killed since 2014.
“The latest disclosure is in the right direction but we do not consider it to be adequate….None of the 11 incidents we examined carefully for our memo and found some 300 likely civilian casualties from them is included in the incidents here,” Neil Sammonds, an Amnesty researcher on Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan, told Sputnik News on Thursday.