US-led Coalition in Iraq & Syria

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

Following the capture of much of northern Iraq and eastern Syria by so-called Islamic State – and atrocities committed by the terror group against local populations – an international Coalition led by the United States began military actions against ISIS in August 2014, in partnership with local forces. An intense air and ground campaign over several years led to ISIS being driven out of almost all territory it had previously held – though this also resulted in significant destruction and loss of life. The kinetic element of the Coalition presently comprises the US, the UK, France, the Netherlands and Iraq (in Syria). Previous active belligerents include Canada, Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Jordan. While the Coalition described its campaign as ‘the most precise in history’, significant civilian casualties have been reported in both Iraq and Syria.

1,583
Days of Campaign
14,368
US-led Coalition Strikes in Iraq
16,864
US-led Coalition Strikes in Syria
2,782
Alleged civilian casualty incidents monitored

Airwars estimate of civilian deaths

7,358–11,746

Locally reported civilian deaths from US-led Coalition actions in Iraq and Syria for which the reporting was assessed by Airwars as Fair, or have been Confirmed by the US-led Coalition. These originate from 1,359 seperate alleged incidents.

1,550–2,013 children likely killed
1,030–1,237 women likely killed
5,577–8,319 likely injured
3,243 named victims

US-led Coalition estimate of civilian deaths

1,124

Confirmed civilian deaths, from US-led Coalition actions in Iraq and Syria, originating from 262 seperate incidents of civilian harm.

222 confirmed injured

Alleged deaths 18,487–28,186

Locally reported civilian deaths from US-led Coalition actions in Iraq and Syria.

2,782 separate alleged incidents

Confirmed or fair
Confirmed: A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
Fair: Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
7,358–11,746

Civilian deaths for which the reporting was assessed by Airwars as Fair, or have been Confirmed by the US-led Coalition.

1,359 separate alleged incidents

Weak
Weak: Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
2,364–2,782

Civilian deaths for which the reporting was assessed by Airwars as Weak.

432 separate alleged incidents

Contested
Contested: Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
7,946–12,387

Civilian deaths for which the reporting is assessed by Airwars as Contested.

732 separate alleged incidents

Discounted
Discounted: Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
710–1,099

Civilian deaths were Discounted by Airwars after assessment.

235 separate alleged incidents

Reported civilian deaths from US-led Coalition strikes in Iraq

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

Reported civilian deaths from US-led Coalition strikes in 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.

Chart legend:

View this chart as:

Best for comparing an individual group over time Best for comparing totals over time
Credit: Airwars Graphic
Source: Airwars