More than four times the number of civilians have been killed per month in U.S.-led airstrikes against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria since President Donald Trump took office compared to when Barack Obama was in the White House, the Independent reported on Monday.
Independent analysts estimate that more than 2,200 civilians have been killed in coalition strikes in the almost six months since Inauguration Day, compared to the approximately 2,300 civilians killed in the almost two-and-a-half years that the Obama administration led the battle against the terrorist group, according to research done by the military tracking group Airwars.
Part of the reason for the upswing can be attributed to the changing nature of the war against ISIS as it became more entrenched in the major cities. The Daily Beast reported that some experts argue it is not the tactics of the new American administration that have changed, but merely the fact that the areas in which the coalition are engaging the enemy include many more civilians.
The Council on Foreign Relations also reported that Trump significant increased the pace of airstrikes, which would also most assuredly lead to more civilian deaths, although those numbers included raids against Islamic extremists in other countries as well, such as Yemen and Pakistan.
But according to the Daily Beast the Trump administration has also lessened protections for civilians in the fight against ISIS, leading to the sharp rise in the number of civilian casualties, although US Secretary of Defense Gen. James Mattis insists there had been “no changes to our continued extraordinary efforts to avoid innocent civilian casualties.”
In one incident in Mosul in March, however, the US admitted it was responsible for the deaths of 101 civilians.