For our Libya project, Airwars has teamed up with the New America Foundation to assess all known public records of airstrikes and reported civilian harm since the end of the NATO campaign in 2011. We have identified hundreds of likely civilian fatalities in a complex conflict which has seen over 2,000 airstrikes from at least eight belligerents, both foreign and domestic.
Airwars is a not for profit transparency organisation which monitors and assesses battlefield civilian harm in conflict zones including Libya, Iraq and Syria. We then seek transparency and accountability from militaries and governments, while advocating on behalf of affected communities. In addition we permanently archive open-source casualty reports and military claims.
From January 1st 2012 to June 17th 2018, Airwars and the New America Foundation have identified 2,180 declared and alleged airstrikes by up to eight domestic and foreign belligerents, operating within Libya. While some (the US, the Libyan National Army, and on occasion Egypt) have chosen to declare many of their actions, most strikes in Libya remain unclaimed by any party – indicative of a general lawlessness in Libya’s skies.
According to available public claims, between 244 and 379 civilian non-combatant deaths have been alleged from airstrikes by all parties in Libya since 2012 – with between 353 and 541 civilians additionally claimed injured.
Locally reported civilian harm from airstrikes in Libya is relatively light compared with other recent conflicts – for example Syria and Yemen. This may reflect the present lower intensity of the conflict in Libya; a lower population density in some targeted areas; and poorer local reporting by media and social media sources. To date, no belligerent has ever been known to have accepted responsibility for civilian harm from airstrikes since 2012.
Airstrikes and civilian harm reports in Libya are often attributed either to joint actions by two or more belligerents; or to contested cases where it is unclear whether casualties resulted from other ground actions.
Reason given by OIR for no civilian harm, that it "validated these... as legitimate ISIS targets and assessed them to be free of civilian presence", needs caution. On many occasions at Hajin civilians credibly reported killed alongside ISIS fighters - tho OIR has not acknowledged— Airwars (@airwars) November 17, 2018
Syria: In an unusual move @CJTFOIR has issued a statement - '— Airwars (@airwars) November 17, 2018
False Accusations of Civilian Casualties' - aggressively denying claims of recent civilian harm at Hajin. It also notes "10 additional strikes in same area... that did not originate from Coalition or partner forces." pic.twitter.com/901flfu1yN