An independent monitoring group says some bombings carried out by the U.S.-led coalition targeting the Islamic State group likely have killed hundreds of civilians. The coalition had no immediate comment on the report released Monday.
The report by Airwars, a project aimed at tracking the international airstrikes targeting the Islamic State group, says it counted at least 459 suspected civilian fatalities in 57 airstrikes it believes the coalition carried out in Iraq and Syria over the last year. It says the same strikes also caused at least 48 suspected “friendly fire” deaths.
The report says that efforts to limit the risk to civilians are hampered by an absence of effective transparency and accountability from nearly all coalition members.
So far, the U.S. only has acknowledged killing two civilians in its strikes.
The leader of Iraq’s Kurdish region says that Iraqi Kurds must maintain control of areas in northwestern Iraq, including the city of Sinjar, after they are recaptured from Islamic State militants.
Massoud Barzani also said Sinjar will remain a Kurdish province under the Iraqi federal government.
His speech Monday marked the anniversary of the fall of Sinjar to the Islamic State group, which forced tens of thousands of people from Iraq’s Yazidi minority to flee into the mountains. The incident prompted the U.S. to launch airstrikes against the militant group.
Other Kurdish groups, including the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, and the People’s Protection Units claim Sinjar as part of their territory. Iraqi, Syrian and Turkish Kurds currently fight alongside each other to reclaim Sinjar.
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