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Amnesty report: US-led coalition undercounting civilian deaths

Amnesty International says 300 civilians killed in 11 separate airstrikes during past two years

The U.S.-led anti-Daesh coalition is significantly undercounting the number of civilians killed in airstrikes as it seeks to rout the extremist group in Syria, a report released Wednesday alleged.

An investigation by Amnesty International suspected that about 300 civilians were killed in 11 separate airstrikes during the past two years.

Three of the airstrikes near northern Syria's Manbij killed more than 100 civilians in the villages of al-Tukhar, al-Hadhadh and al-Ghandoura.

The attack on al-Tukhar is currently under investigation by the U.S.'s Middle East military command.

More than 200 civilians are suspected to have died in coalition airstrikes that helped to oust Daesh from Manbij, according to Amnesty.

Another 40 civilians were reportedly killed when an airstrike hit two houses in the village of Ayn al-Khan in the Hasakah governorate.

“Analysis of available evidence suggests that in each of these cases, Coalition forces failed to take adequate precautions to minimize harm to civilians and damage to civilian objects," said Lynn Maalouf, Deputy Director for Research at Amnesty International’s Beirut regional office. "Some of these attacks may constitute disproportionate or otherwise indiscriminate attacks."

The report comes as the coalition has escalated its efforts to support Iraqi forces as they continue the campaign to wrest control of Iraq's second city from Daesh.

“Given the likely increase in air strikes by the US-led Coalition as part of the Iraqi offensive to recapture Mosul, it is even more pressing that CENTCOM be fully transparent about the impact of their military actions on civilians," said Maalouf.

"It is crucial that they adhere scrupulously to international humanitarian law, including by taking all feasible precautions to spare civilians and to minimize harm to civilian homes and infrastructure."

The 11 airstrikes Amnesty analyzed account for only a small sample of the overall air campaign launched by the coalition in Iraq and Syria.

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