CBS Local — President Trump may have promised to attack ISIS on the campaign trail, but an investigation reveals that more civilians are being killed by American-led attacks than ever before in ISIS stronghold countries Iraq and Syria.
The loss of civilian lives in those two countries has more than quadrupled since Trump took office in January, according to researchers at Airwars, an independent research group that monitors military activity.
“At least 2,300 civilians” have likely perished due to American-led efforts to combat ISIS under the Obama White House, according to the report. This figure translates to about 80 deaths per month in Iraq and Syria.
But since Trump’s inauguration, roughly 2,200 additional civilians have been killed by American military raids — a surge averaging upwards of 260 each month.
While the rise of civilian deaths can be attributed to many factors, the rise can at least partially be due to the battle against ISIS moving to more heavily populated regions like Mosul, Iraq, and Raqqa, Syria.
Only 603 of the roughly 2,200 reported civilian deaths reported by Airwars have been confirmed by the U.S.-led joint task force with Operation Inherent Resolve, the name formally given to the battle against ISIS. The unconfirmed deaths have been deemed either “non-credible” or still under investigation, according to the report.
But Airwars is not the only group to call the innocent death toll in Iraq and Syria into question.
United Nations investigators announce in June that air strikes supported by the U.S. were causing a “staggering loss of civilian life,” Reuters reported.