Despite multiple reports civilians have been killed in American airstrikes launched against the jihadists group Islamic State and the Khorasan Group, a spokesman for US Central Command told Business Insider on Tuesday evening that the military is “not aware of any” civilian deaths during the operations.
Furthermore, CENTCOM spokesman Maj. Curtis Kellogg said they had “no evidence” to support reports civilian casualties have occurred.
“We have seen no evidence at this time to corroborate claims of civilian casualties. I can assure you that before any mission, every precaution is taken to ensure civilians are not harmed. Regardless, we take any reporting of civilian casualties seriously and look into claims when they arise,” Kellogg said.
US President Barack Obama launched strikes against the Islamic State (also known as ISIS and ISIL) in Iraq in August. He subsequently expanded the military operations to include targets in Syria.
Last year, President Obama imposed new standards on drone strikes designed to diminish civilian casualties. However, military officials told Yahoo! on Tuesday that those standards would not be applied to the current military operations in Syria and Iraq.
There have been multiple claims civilians were killed in Syrian strikes including “as many as a dozen civilians, including women and young children” on Sept. 23 and a statement from the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights of “confirmed reports” of civilians killed following a strike Monday. SOHR did not respond to a request for comment from Business Insider asking for further details. Images of children purportedly injured in US strikes posted on YouTube have also reportedly fuelled protests in Syria.
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