A spokesman for US Central Command revealed they are investigating three incidents where airstrikes aimed at the jihadist group Islamic State (also known as ISIS or ISIL) that may have led to civilian deaths.
In an email sent to Business Insider on Friday, Maj. Curtis Kellogg said CENTCOM is investigating four separate allegations of civilian casualties. The claims involve one incident in Iraq and two in Syria. Kellogg stressed he could not confirm the allegations. He did not provide any information about the number of alleged deaths.
“Currently, I have no confirmation of civilian casualties from coalition airstrikes. Having said that — four civilian casualty allegations are currently being investigated in three separate investigations because two allegations involve the same incident,” Kellogg said, “The three investigations currently underway involve one incident in Iraq and two in Syria. Because these investigations are on-going, it would be inappropriate to discuss specific details at this time.”
US President Barack Obama launched the airstrikes against ISIS last August. The strikes are being carried out by an international coalition.
There have been multiple claims the airstrikes have led to civilian casualties, notably from the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Kellogg also said the US makes extensive efforts to avoid civilian deaths. He contrasted this to ISIS and the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
“We take all allegations of civilian casualties seriously, and we apply very rigorous standards in our targeting process to avoid or to minimize civilian casualties in the first place,” Kellogg said. “Our efforts stand in stark contrast to the tactics of ISIL and the Assad regime, who continues to kill, torture, and abuse civilians as well as embed their combatants in civilian areas.”
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