MOSCOW, February 14 – RIA Novosti. Analysts working for the United States government, the American corporation RAND, acknowledged the problem with the number of victims of US Air Force (Air Force) airstrikes among civilians in Iraq and Syria and recommended in the future to reduce civilian losses. Such conclusions are presented in the report of the organization.
RAND has published a 500-page study – “Air War against the Islamic State” *. The paper analyzes the actions of the Western coalition aviation, led by the US, in Syria and Iraq from August 2014 to March 2019 (Operation Unwavering Determination). “The US Air Force will have to limit civilian casualties and collateral damage in in the course of future air operations, including during hostilities with an almost equal enemy, which can take place in a dense urban environment, “the report's conclusions recommend.
The document notes that unguided bombs can be used only in uninhabited places, and a sufficient amount of high-precision ammunition must be purchased. It is also indicated that the United States needs to train more ground reconnaissance spotters to provide target designation.
According to official figures from the coalition's joint command for the summer of 2019, 1,319 civilians have been killed in air strikes by the United States and its allies in Iraq and Syria since 2014. At the same time, according to the British monitoring group Airwars, this figure could be 10 times more – up to 13,000 dead.
RAND analysts refrained from their own estimate of the number of civilian casualties in Iraq and Syria as a result of US and coalition airstrikes, citing the scope of their study. At the same time, in their report, they cite data from Airwars, according to which in only one month of March 2017 in Iraqi Mosul as a result of western airstrikes, 1,400 civilians were killed as a result of Western airstrikes, which is more than the coalition command indicates for the entire period from 2014 to 2019.
Analysts point out that the discrepancy between the civilian casualties reported by the coalition and those of other organizations needs to be further explored to understand “the strategic implications of civilian casualties for the United States and the region as a whole.”
* A terrorist organization banned in Russia. War in Syria