December 13, 2021 – Responding to new reporting from The New York Times detailing how a U.S. secret special operations cell repeatedly sidestepped safeguards and killed civilians during the counter-ISIS campaign, CIVIC’s Executive Director, Federico Borello, released the following statement:

“These new revelations further illustrate what CIVIC and our partners have long known to be true: that for far too long and despite its own rhetoric to the contrary, the United States has failed to live up to its legal and moral commitments to the protection of civilians, with devastating results for civilians and no meaningful accountability. In light of yet another report detailing an unacceptable disregard for civilian life, we repeat our calls for urgent congressional oversight, transparent investigations, accountability, and structural policy changes.”

On November 30, CIVIC and 23 other humanitarian, human rights, protection of civilians, peacebuilding, and government accountability organizations sent a letter to leadership of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee and House Armed Services Committee calling for urgent congressional oversight of U.S. civilian harm policies and adherence to international humanitarian law in light of recent strikes as well as twenty years of repeated civilian harm.

On December 1, CIVIC and 20 other organizations sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin urging him to account for and reckon with the civilian harm of the last twenty years and finally implement structural changes to prioritize civilian protection and accountability for civilian harm.

CIVIC repeats these urgent calls today.