The Pentagon says 132 civilians were killed last year in US military attacks in several countries across the world; a damning report which has undercut the true number of victims, published by NGOs.
In its annual report on Wednesday, the Pentagon said that “there were approximately 132 civilians killed and approximately 91 civilians injured during 2019 as a result of US military operations in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and Somalia.”
The figure, however, is far lower than those numbers published by rights groups.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) criticized the report, saying the administration of President Donald Trump is “undercounting” the number of civilians killed or injured overseas.
“Compared to credible independent media accounts and rights groups’ investigations, it is clear that the Pentagon’s investigations are still woefully inadequate,” ACLU director Hina Shamsi.
In 2018, the Pentagon reported a civilian death toll of 120 people.
The report, mandate by the Congress, said the most civilian victims were in Afghanistan, with 108 deaths and 75 injured.
In Iraq and Syria, 22 civilians were killed and 13 injured, according to the nearly 20-page report, which tracks both air and ground military attacks.
It, however, claimed that the Pentagon “did not identify any civilian casualties resulting from US military operations in Yemen and Libya” last year.
This is while, several monitoring groups publish far higher death tolls of the US military strikes in countries across the world.
The US chapter of Amnesty International, said that the report “suggests that the Pentagon is still undercounting civilian casualties.”
“Based on places where we have done extensive, thorough investigations, the US military is still severely undercounting the number of civilians killed and injured by US strikes,” said Daphne Eviatar, director of Security with Human Rights at Amnesty International USA.
According to the Airwars monitoring group figures, there were between 465 and 1,113 civilians killed in Syria alone by the US-led coalition last year.