Damascus (GPA) – A report released this month by the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) estimates that the civilian deaths by the US coalition surpass those from both ISIS and Russia.
The U.K. based, anti-Assad and anti-Russian SNHR released a report earlier this month showing that the U.S. caused the majority of civilian deaths in March.
The total number of civilian casualties for the month is estimated at 1,134 total deaths. This is at the hands of the Russian coalition, IS and the USA. Due to difficulty calculating an accurate estimate, the number of deaths caused by US backed rebels is not included in the report.
The estimated deaths attributed to Russia last month is 224. While the US coalition was responsible for 260. IS didn’t come anywhere close to either of the state actors: clocking 119 casualties.
While the report did attribute over 400 civilian deaths in March to the Syrian government, this number still pales in comparison to the US-coalition’s total. The US and their allies managed to rack up almost 1,500 civilian casualties between campaigns in both Syria and Iraq according to a second report from Airwars.
The US continues to surpass all other actors in both of these conflicts in number of civilian deaths every month. Even if the SNHR is correct in blaming Assad for 400 deaths, the US did half of that in one day in Mosul.
The Airwars report also noted that the US is responsible for the majority of all airstrikes in Syria (68%). That means the dozens of other nations in the coalition bombing Syria make up less than one third of all airstrikes in the country.
The US is responsible for several attacks that cause sudden spikes in their civilian death tolls. Similar to the bombing in Mosul, they also destroyed a school in Raqqa. Where they killed 33 civilians taking shelter.
War Crimes on Two Fronts
Concerning Mosul, even other pro-western monitoring bodies such as Amnesty International accuse the US of war crimes. Amnesty reported after the airstrike leaving 200+ dead that the US knew there was a high concentration of civilians in the area. Who they had previously told not to flee the city.
Amnesty’s Senior Crisis Response Adviser, Donatella Rovera, highlighted this by telling journalists: “Evidence gathered on the ground in East Mosul points to an alarming pattern of US-led coalition airstrikes which have destroyed whole houses with entire families inside.”
Rovera also was concerned that “The high civilian toll suggests that coalition forces leading the offensive in Mosul have failed to take adequate precautions to prevent civilian deaths, in flagrant violation of international humanitarian law.”
All of these factors should be something to keep in mind. Especially following the recent outcry by the US concerning the “chemical weapons attack” allegedly carried out by Syrian forces. Nobody is denying the horrors of any use of chemical weapons, regardless of who actually used them. But the US forces should reflect on the undeniable damage they’re causing.
James Carey is an organizer based in Detroit, Michigan, founder of Geopolitics Alert, and an experienced analyst on Middle Eastern affairs with a particular focus on Turkey. He also covers topics ranging from Latin America and Asia to Europe. You can also hear James in his weekly podcast; The Left is Dead which he co-hosts with investigative journalist Jake Anderson.