Desperate ISIS Use Human Shields As Coalition Airstrikes Kill 484 Civilians

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Damascus: The total casualty figure is a jump of 132 from April which is largely due to a US airstrike that set off explosives, stored amongst civilians by ISIS, claiming 105 victims.

The US Department of Defence released a statement which said: “The coalition takes all reports of civilian casualties seriously and assesses all reports as thoroughly as possible.

Although the coalition takes extraordinary efforts to strike military targets in a manner that minimises the risk of civilian casualties, in some incidents casualties are unavoidable.”

Non-governmental groups like Airwars have disagreed with the reported figures and claim the true figure is closer to 3,817 civilian deaths since the mission to remove ISIS from power began.

US Defence Secretary James Mattis, speaking last week, said: “Civilian casualties are a fact of life in this sort of situation.

“We do everything humanly possible consistent with military necessity, taking many chances to avoid civilian casualties at all costs.

The US-led coalition forces define a credible assessment as one that “more likely than not” resulted in a civilian causality.

The Secretary was asked about a bomb that reportedly killed 100 civilians in Iraq and he responded with a scathing review of the “callous disregard” ISIS have for innocent lives.

He said: “The American people and the American military will never get used to civilian casualties. And we will – we will fight against that every way we can possibly bring our intelligence and our tactics to bear.

“People who have had tried to leave that city were not allowed to by ISIS. We are the good guys. We’re not the perfect guys, but we are the good guys. And so we’re doing what we can.

“We believe we found residue that was not consistent with our bomb. So we believe that what happened there was that ISIS had stored munitions in a residential location.

“Showing, once again, the callous disregard that has characterised every operation they have run.” The coalition has denied lowering standards aimed at protecting civilians and claimed the figures are increasing because of operations in dense, urban terrain.

A reported 30,000 jihadi fighters have been killed by airstrikes and ground forces in the past three years.