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  • Residents inspect a damaged site from what activists said were airstrikes carried out by the Russian air force in Nawa city, Deraa, Syria.

    Residents inspect a damaged site from what activists said were airstrikes carried out by the Russian air force in Nawa city, Deraa, Syria. | Photo: Reuters

Published 21 January 2017

Former U.S. President Barack Obama spent the last months of his term leading a coalition in Syria and Iraq that killed hundreds of civilians.

As liberals mourn the end of the Barack Obama administration, a monitoring group reported that the U.S.-led coalition killed 450 or more civilians in Syria and Iraq since October.

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70% Spike in Civilian Deaths by US-Led Coalition in Syria, Iraq

“With reported fatalities from coalition strikes at record levels we would have expected significant media engagement,” said Chris Woods, director of Airwars, a London-based monitoring group that has been tallying the death toll of coalition strikes by compiling official and local reports.

“Instead, anything beyond local reporting has been almost non-existent.”

The count begins from and largely includes casualties from the intense operation in Mosul, which the U.N. says is the largest such offensive since World War II. Most of the rest of the remaining deaths are from the Raqqa governorate but do not include fatalities from the Iraqi Security Forces or Air Force.

In the absence of a rolling U.N. count of civilian deaths, Airwars compiles reports and only counts claims that are backed by two credible sources. It reported earlier this year that likely civilian fatalities in Iraq and Syria from U.S.-led coalition airstrikes jumped by 70 percent in 2016, though underreporting may mean the figure is even higher.

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