US civilians casualties in Syria exceeds Russia’s by 5 times: Report

Smoke rises from the Syrian town of Kobani following a US-led airstrike on October 16, 2014. (Photo by Reuters)

The United States has killed five times more Syrian civilians than Russia over the past month, a new report shows.

The US-led coalition airstrikes killed an estimated 254 civilians across Syria in January, while casualties from alleged Russian strikes capped out at 48, conflict monitor Airwars reported Monday, citing the Syrian Network for Human Rights. 

Airwars identified at least 95 separate “civilian casualties” over the same period, which involved US-led aircraft. For Russia, the figure stood at 57.

According to the report, the high casualty from US-led airstrikes comes after Washington and its allies stepped up their bombing campaign in Syria and Iraq.

The so-called coalition has been attacking alleged Daesh positions in the two Arab countries since 2014.

As of December 30, the US and its coalition partners had carried out over 6,000 airstrikes in Syria, without a mandate from the UN or Damascus.

Russia, on the other hand, began its aerial campaign in September 2015 upon a request by the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

In early January, the US military said that it had registered a total of 188 “unintentional deaths” in Syria since the beginning of the campaign.

The remnants of a US-made Hellfire missile fired on Mosul, Iraq, January 21, 2017. (Photo by Fathil Jasim)

The number sounded like an understatement compared to similar reports by outside groups.

According to Airwars, for example, more than 2,100 civilians have been killed in Iraq and Syria since the beginning of the US-led campaign.

The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) released a more detailed report in January, putting the estimated civilian casualties from US-led raids at 820, 310 of them children. 

Similar claims have also been made against Russia, with some reports putting the number of Moscow’s civilian casualties way higher. The government of Russian President Vladimir Putin has strongly denied such charges.

According to the UK-based group, the airstrikes have also caused a vast amount of damage to civilian property.

The US has also admitted to targeting Syrian and Iraqi soldiers on several occasions, blaming the strikes on “intelligence failure.”

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Washington also says that some of its airdrops, including weapons and munitions, over Syria’s militant-controlled areas have fallen into the wrong hands.

Earlier this month, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu accused the US-led coalition of having made no positive contribution to the counter-terrorism fight in Syria.

Syria has been fighting foreign-sponsored militancy over the past almost six years. UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura estimated in August last year that more than 400,000 people had been killed in the Syria crisis until then.

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