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US military killed nearly 500 civilians in 2017, Pentagon says

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Friday was the first time the Pentagon released figures for civilian casualties caused by U.S. military ground and air operations around the world in response to a new requirement by Congress for 2018.

Friday was the first time the Pentagon released figures for civilian casualties caused by U.S. military ground and air operations around the world in response to a new requirement by Congress for 2018.  (.)

WASHINGTON –  The Pentagon said U.S. military operations in six countries killed almost 500 civilians in 2017, in an annual report that was released to the public for the first time on Friday.

The figures accounted for casualties in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Yemen. The Pentagon said it hadn’t received any credible reports of civilian casualties in the remaining two countries, Libya and Somalia.

The Pentagon said about 499 civilians were killed and about 169 civilians injured, without providing a breakdown of deaths and injuries per country or further details about the victims.

The Pentagon said about 499 civilians were killed and about 169 civilians injured, without providing a breakdown of deaths and injuries per country or further details about the victims.

It also said it had yet to assess 450 civilian-casualty reports in Iraq and Syria, due to limited resources, indicating the final tally could be higher.

It was the first time the Pentagon released figures for civilian casualties caused by U.S. military ground and air operations around the world in response to a new requirement by Congress for 2018.

“We want to be as transparent as possible and show the rigorous process U.S. forces take to protect civilians,” U.S. military spokeswoman Maj. Audricia Harris said in an email.

The only comparable figures released by former President Barack Obama came in 2016, when he signed an executive order requiring the government to release figures for civilian casualties caused by U.S. airstrikes meant to target combatants in non-war zones. At the time, the White House said such operations killed 64 civilians between 2009 and 2015, a figure that was contested by nongovernmental organizations that track U.S. drone strikes.

This story continues in the Wall Street Journal.

 

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