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.
All wars cause civilian deaths. To claim otherwise—or refuse to count the dead—is to widen an impunity gap. @airwars work, assisted by open sources, is critical in promoting accountability around civilian harm culpability at a time when wars are increasingly an urban phenomenon. https://t.co/h4Wz4l7z3P— Félim McMahon (@intergentic) September 25, 2018
We're tracking a jump in Coalition strikes in Eastern Syria as Operation Roundup again intensifies against ISIS remnants, in support of SDF proxies. There were 78 strikes September 17th-23rd (up from 16 strikes two weeks previously) of which just 4 actions were in Iraq. pic.twitter.com/hab7VnUj0F— Airwars (@airwars) September 25, 2018