Civilian Casualty Claims In Iraq, Syria Investigated By The U.S

The U.S. military said on Tuesday it had received 18 complaints of civilian casualties in air strikes against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria according to latest reports from Reuters News Agency. However out of the 18 complaints the US Military has ruled out 13 of the cases were not credible and was still reviewing the other five. The Pentagon has made it very clear that it takes these allegations of civilian casualties seriously and will properly investigate them. The civilians causality caused by US force and drones have been a very serious issues for many years and many times military officials had played down such reports.

"We ... apply very rigorous standards in our targeting process to prevent civilian casualties in the first place," said Sergeant First Class Sheryl Lawry, a spokeswoman for Central Command, which oversees operations U.S. military forces in the Middle East. Sergeant Lawry said nine reports of possible civilian casualties took place in Syria and nine in Iraq. Thirteen of the cases were found to be baseless while five are under further review, including two involving fewer than five deaths that are being investigated more deeply.

The American Air Strikes started back in August 2013 and so far they have carried out 1350 sorties and according to Rear Admiral John Kirby these air strikes have inflicted hundreds of causalities resulting in the death of Islamic State fighters and has also reduced their unbridled movement in Syria and Iraq. Army Lt. Gen. James Terry  who is the top American commander in Iraq and Syria said “we bring the right people into that to actually help us identify units, and then what we call deconflict of fires and the clearance of fires, so there are Iraqis in the process when we do all this.”

President Barack Obama back in 2011 had given orders for the withdrawal of American troops after the Iraqi government refused to sign a new security agreement, however the president has now authorized more than 3,000 U.S. troops to advise Iraqi forces and train 12 brigades of Iraqi troops, including three from Kurdish peshmerga forces. Also there is a policy shift and and the U.S. military will train and equip a moderate force of Syrian rebels to counter Islamic State militants in Syria, which could create tension with President Bashar al-Assad who is also fighting the Islamic State.