Pentagon: Civilian deaths in ISIS battles due to phase of combat in key cities – not Trump policies

Pentagon: Civilian deaths in ISIS battles due to phase of combat in key cities – not Trump policies
Coalition troops mass outside Mosul, October 2016. (Image: Screen grab of Wochit video, YouTube)

The Pentagon rejected the idea that there are more U.S.-caused civilian casualties in the war against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) under the Trump administration than the previous one due to political reasons in statements made on Monday.

On Sunday, the Daily Beast published an Airwars investigation that said roughly eighty civilians died from U.S.-led coalition airstrikes under the Obama administration, whereas more than 360 civilians have died under the Trump administration.

“I would sort of reject the idea that there’s some political basis to it. We have had, in fact, two active military operations going on in two large cities – the two capitals of ISIS at the same time, Mosul and Raqqa, both of them in dense urban terrain,” said Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff Davis. …

It took about four months to liberate East Mosul, finishing just as the Trump administration took office.

The battle for West Mosul was expected to be far more complicated due to its older infrastructure, higher population, and willingness of ISIS fighters expected to take a stand for the symbolic city. The fight began in February and concluded about five months later, ending last week.

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