US-led Coalition in Iraq & Syria

Civilians in the ruins of Mosul city. (Maranie R. Staab)

Reported civilian deaths from US-led Coalition strikes in Iraq and Syria

Due to large variations in the quality of reporting, Airwars provisionally grades allegations of civilian harm using a standardised methodology across all belligerents and conflicts. The five categories are explained in full on our Methodology page. Individual events are recorded in the Civilian Casualties pages.

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Credit: Airwars Graphic
Source: Airwars

Comparing allegations of civilian harm from US-led Coalition and Russian campaigns

Airwars has tracked more than 6,000 reported events in which Russian strikes in Syria or Coalition military actions in Iraq and Syria have allegedly killed civilians. While these raw claims should be treated with caution, they can help us to understand trends over time. In March to May 2016 for example, alleged Russian incidents fell by 75% – most likely as a result of a regional ceasefire then in place.

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Source: Airwars

US-led Coalition air and artillery strikes in Iraq and Syria

The term strike refers both to air and artillery actions. Please note that according to the US-led Coalition against ISIS, a single strike might at times involve multiple aircraft, munitions released and locations.

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A strike, as defined in regular Coalition press releases, refers to “one or more kinetic engagements that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single, sometimes cumulative effect in that location. For example, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIS vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against a group of ISIS-held buildings and weapon systems in a compound, having the cumulative effect of making that facility harder or impossible to use.”

Credit: Airwars Graphic
Source: Combined Joint-Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve

Coalition air-released munitions in Iraq and Syria 2014 to present

The graph models official data from Air Force Central Command (AFCENT) which reflects air-released munitions by the international allies during the war against so-called Islamic State. It does not include artillery or rocket strikes.

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ISR Missions in Iraq/Syria and Afghanistan

Modern militaries use Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions for both pre- and post-strike assessments and for targeting assistance. Measuring levels of ISR can therefore provide a useful indicator of efforts taken to better protect civilians on the battlefield.

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Cumulative US and allied air and artillery strikes in Iraq

Until June 2017, the Coalition regularly provided Airwars with breakdowns of strikes by the US and allies, and by country. This helped us build a more nuanced picture of ongoing US and allied air operations.

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Source: CJTF-OIR and ally military reports

Cumulative US and allied air and artillery strikes in Syria

Until June 2017, the Coalition regularly provided Airwars with breakdowns of strikes by the US and allies, and by country. This helped us build a more nuanced picture of ongoing US and allied air operations.

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Source: CJTF-OIR and ally military reports

Coalition air and artillery strikes in Iraq, August 2014 – June 2017

All data is drawn from official military reports of CJTF-OIR, France, the UK, Belgium, Denmark, The Netherlands, Australia and Canada. Where countries only issued data on weapons released, we estimated the number of strikes based on the overall average of weapons released per strike.

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Source: CJTF-OIR and ally military reports