Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC) shares regular updates about the work of our global programs. Our US program, helmed by US Program Director, Daniel R. Mahanty, works with US institutions to protect civilians trapped in conflict around the world. This weekly overview of the US Program is authored by CIVIC consultant, Lyndsey Martin.
US MILITARY AND COALITION OPERATIONS
OPERATION INHERENT RESOLVE
Ongoing fighting in Hajin is taking a heavy toll on civilians, the UN said last week. Those fleeing have reported may significant casualties, shortages of food and medicine, and large-scale destruction of civilian infrastructure, and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has reported intense Coalition airstrikes on the last area held by the Islamic State in Deir Ezzor.
Between December 30 and January 12, Coalition forces carried out 575 strikes in Syria and 13 strikes in Iraq.
MOST RECENT OIR CIVCAS REPORT (December 30): In the month of November, CJTF-OIR carried over 194 open reports from previous months and received 15 new reports. The assessment of 25 civilian casualty allegation reports has been completed. Out of the 25 completed casualty allegation reports, three reports were determined to be credible and resulted in 15 unintentional civilian deaths. Two of the reports were determined to be duplicate reports that had previously reported and the remaining 20 reports were assessed to be non-credible. A total of 184 reports are still open. The Coalition conducted a total of 31,406 strikes between August 2014 and end of November 2018. During this period, based on information available, CJTF-OIR assesses at least 1139 civilians have been unintentionally killed by Coalition strikes since the start of Operation Inherent Resolve.
In its 2019 World Report, Human Rights Watch said that civilians in Afghanistan bore the brunt of conflict in 2018, as more than 10,000 were killed or injured. Intensified airstrikes and night raids by US and Afghan forces caused more than 600 civilian casualties – 60 percent of whom were women and children – and neither military carried out inadequate investigations into airstrikes that were possible war crimes.
The New York Times recorded three civilian deaths in Afghanistan between January 4 and 10.
TWEET OF THE WEEK
US airstrikes in Syria per month, over past six months:
Jan: On pace for 1,300
(It's now an aggressive counterinsurgency air campaign, which should grow in scope and intensity with US troop withdrawals.)
— Micah Zenko (@MicahZenko) January 18, 2019
Bureau of Investigative Journalism (Total Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen)
Civilians Killed: 760 – 1,667
Children Killed: 253 – 382
Total Killed: 8,327 – 11,897
Minimum Confirmed Strikes: 6,361
Airwars (Total Iraq and Syria)
Civilians Killed: 7,352 – 11,707
Children Killed: 1,544 – 1,991
Coalition Strikes in Iraq: 14,368
Coalition Strikes in Syria: 16,864
ARMS SALES AND SECURITY ASSISTANCE
Croatia has formally canceled a $500 million deal to buy 12 used fighter jets from Israel after it collapsed due to US objections.
A report by Journalists for Justice claims that top officials in the Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) the Ministries of Defense and Immigration are involved in a smuggling racket and enjoy “the protection and tacit cooperation of leaders at the highest echelons of the Executive and National Assembly.” The report says that proceeds are split between the KDF, the Somali regional government, and al-Shabaab. US officials are reportedly frustrated with Kenyan authorities, but haven’t forced the issue because the US relies on Kenya for security cooperation on other fronts.
DRONE WARFARE AND TARGETED KILLING
US Africa Command said on Saturday that it carried out its deadliest airstrike in Somalia in months, killing 52 militants after a “large group” launched an attack on Somali forces.
The fight against al Shabaab in Somalia is America’s other endless war, Michael Phillips writes in the Wall Street Journal. It is one America’s longest-running conflicts and “has proven a frustrating mission with wins but no victory, setbacks but no defeat.”
- February 5: The New York Times – Civilian Casualties in the War on Terror
- February 5: Center for Strategic and International Studies – Saving Lives in a time of Crisis: Why the Global Humanitarian System Matters