British combat aircraft have carried out 1,066 air strikes in Iraq and Syria against Islamic State with the Ministry of Defence claiming that there have been no civilian casualties.
In response to a Freedom of Information request, the Ministry of Defence said:
“The UK takes all steps necessary to minimise civilian causalties.
All weapons releases by RAF aircraft are conducted in strict accordance with the Law of Armed Conflict and rigorous Rules of Engagement, incorporating estimates to minimise the chance of civilian casualties and damage to civilian infrastructure.
Furthermore, the MOD also conducts an assessment after every British strike of the damage caused which includes checks to see whether there are likely to have been civilian casualties. Our records show that there were no civilian casualties for the period in question.”
British aircraft have conducted 1,066 strikes against Islamic State.
The Freedom of Information request shows that 1,571 fighters have been killed in Iraq and 181 killed in Syria.
Airwars conflict monitoring group Director Chris Woods told the Mirror:
“Where we have more concern with the MoD is its assertion, an aggressive assertion at times, that they have killed no civilians in the war in Iraq and Syria despite more than 1,000 air strikes.
That would be unprecedented in the history of warfare.”
Airwards describe themselves as:
“Airwars.org is a collaborative, not-for-profit transparency project aimed both at tracking and archiving the international air war against Islamic State and other groups, in both Iraq and Syria. With a dozen Coalition nations reportedly bombing – along with the air forces of Russia, Iraq, Iran and Syria – there is a pressing public interest need for independent, trustworthy monitoring.”