While the official Pentagon reports on civilian deaths claim far fewer deaths, NGOs have been consistently documenting a massive number of civilian bystanders killed in America’s air war in Iraq and Syria.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights put the total at 2,617 civilians killed in US-led strikes just in Syria. This included 615 children and 443 women. It also doesn’t include the much larger tolls believed to have been inflicted in Iraq.
The Pentagon has put the overall toll closer to 700 civilians killed across both countries, and they also reckon a large majority in Iraq. Within Syria, the largest number of civilians were killed in Raqqa, but it also includes civilians slain in Manbij, as well as elsewhere around the country.
Despite the US struggles with providing anything resembling accurate death tolls for their airstrikes, both the Syrian Observatory and Airwars have proven quite successful at offering estimates that are seen as closely in-line with what’s been reported by the media and by civilians on the ground.
The Pentagon, by contrast, tends to operate on wishful thinking, insisting any really large tolls are “not credible” and excluding them from the reports, despite many of those having substantial evidence of having occurred.