Twenty-nine civilians killed in UK strikes on Iraq and Syria: report

Twenty-nine civilians killed in UK strikes on Iraq and Syria: report
Twenty-nine civilians were killed in nine airstrikes in Syria and Iraq by the UK’s Royal Air Force, a new analysis says, despite continued denial by the British government.
2 min read
23 March, 2023
The UK claims that its strikes in Iraq and Syria only caused one civilian casualty [Getty]

Twenty-nine civilians may have been killed in nine airstrikes by the British Royal Air Force (RAF) in Iraq and Syria between 2016 and 2018, according to a new analysis by the charity Action on Armed Violence (AOAV).

The new figures are in stark contrast to a claim by the UK government that only one civilian was killed throughout the RAF’s operations against the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria.

The UK’s Guardian newspaper reported earlier this week that six RAF airstrikes on the Iraqi city of Mosul had killed civilians.

The latest figures from AOAV also look at British airstrikes in Syria, highlighting an RAF attack that killed up to 12 civilians in Raqqa on 13 August 2017.

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The civilian deaths were reported by Syrian media and acknowledged by the US military but the UK’s Ministry of Defence continues to say there is "no evidence" of civilian causualties, according to The Guardian.

Another airstrike on a weapons factory in Abu Kamal in southeastern Syria killed between four and ten members of one family, the Airwars research group said.

The RAF says that it killed over 4,000 militants in airstrikes in Syria and Iraq between 2014 and 2020 but says only one civilian died in these strikes.

The US, which leads the international coalition against IS, says that 1,437 civilians were killed in 35,000 strikes in Syria and Iraq.