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  • In this file picture, smoke rises near a stadium after an airstrike by the US-led coalition forces, in Raqqah, Syria.

    In this file picture, smoke rises near a stadium after an airstrike by the US-led coalition forces, in Raqqah, Syria. | Photo: Reuters

Published 27 June 2019

The figure is still far lower than the death tolls given by groups that have monitored the conflict in the two countries.

The U.S.-led coalition said Thursday it had unintentionally killed at least 1,319 civilians in strikes during its fight against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria since 2014.

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"The coalition conducted 34,514 strikes between August 2014 and the end of May 2019," it said in a statement. During this period, it "assesses at least 1,319 civilians have been unintentionally killed by coalition strikes."

The coalition, while claiming it does all it can to avoid civilian deaths, said it was still assessing 159 additional reports of civilian casualties.

Airwars, a non-governemental organization that monitors civilian casualties from air strikes worldwide, estimates more than 8,000 civilians have been killed in coalition raids.

In a report released in late April, Amnesty International and Airwars found that coalition air and artillery strikes killed more than 1,600 civilians just in the four-months blitz to oust IS group from the Syrian city of Raqa.

"We hope to finally see an honest assessment of the devastating impact that U.S. lethal strikes have had on the civilians in Raqqa," Daphne Eviatar, director of Amnesty's Security with Human Rights program, declared then.

"The public deserves to know how many civilian casualties our government is responsible for, and the survivors deserve acknowledgement, reparations, where appropriate, and meaningful assistance to rebuild their lives."

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