Tracking by Airwars across multiple conflicts during 2020 showed that the number of locally reported civilian deaths from the use of explosive weapons was down by two thirds compared to the previous year. Of these fatalities, around half were in the first two months of 2020. This suggested a possible ‘Covid effect’ – a significant reduction in conflict violence, as communities locked down during the global pandemic.
The report also found that US military accountability for civilian casualties had declined sharply during Donald Trump’s final year as President. Confirmed civilian harm events were down by 80% in Iraq and Syria, while CENTCOM admitted that it had ‘forgotten’ the recent deaths of Yemen civilians as a result of US military actions.