Since the U.S. military started an air campaign against the Islamic State 17 months ago, it has dropped 28,000 bombs and conducted 8,600 air strikes. These thousands of bombs have killed, roughly, 20,000 members of ISIS.
Many of the ISIS members killed were mid to upper leaders, such as propagandist Junaid Hussain and the organization’s second-in command Fadhil Ahmad al-Hayali. Whether this number of casualties spells progress for the United States remains, sadly, unclear.
The Department of Defense also estimated that only six civilians have died during the air strikes, but human rights groups dispute that claim.
From Mother Jones:
The Violations Documentation Center (VDC), a monitoring group with on-the-ground reporters in Syria, claims 302 civilians have died in the airstrikes. The Syrian Network for Human Rights has confirmed 251 deaths, including those of 75 children. Airwars, a British-based monitoring group that uses a range of sources including organizations that confirm the identities of the dead through relatives and local officials, states that the number of civilian deaths could be as high as 1,073.
Recall that when the Drone Papers were published to the Intercept, it showed that unmanned drones often counted unintended casualties as ‘enemies.’ With discrepancies like that, it’s hard to tell whether any of this data is valid.
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