Nearly 6,000 Civilians Were Killed In Middle East Last Year

In this Feb. 20, 2016, file photo, a member of the Libyan security forces displays part of a document in Arabic describing weaponry, that was found at the site of U.S. airstrikes on an Islamic State camp that killed dozens, near the western city of Sabratha, Libya. The work of photographer and video journalist Mohamed Ben Khalifa, who was killed in Libya on Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019, reflected Libya's post-2011 chaos of rival militias fighting for control as well as the humanitarian tragedy of waves of people fleeing North Africa, the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa.
In this Feb. 20, 2016, file photo, a member of the Libyan security forces displays part of a document in Arabic describing weaponry, that was found at the site of U.S. airstrikes on an Islamic State camp that killed dozens, near the western city of Sabratha, Libya. The work of photographer and video journalist Mohamed Ben Khalifa, who was killed in Libya on Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019, reflected Libya's post-2011 chaos of rival militias fighting for control as well as the humanitarian tragedy of waves of people fleeing North Africa, the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa. Mohamed Ben Khalifa, File / AP Photo
In this Feb. 20, 2016, file photo, a member of the Libyan security forces displays part of a document in Arabic describing weaponry, that was found at the site of U.S. airstrikes on an Islamic State camp that killed dozens, near the western city of Sabratha, Libya. The work of photographer and video journalist Mohamed Ben Khalifa, who was killed in Libya on Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019, reflected Libya's post-2011 chaos of rival militias fighting for control as well as the humanitarian tragedy of waves of people fleeing North Africa, the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa.
In this Feb. 20, 2016, file photo, a member of the Libyan security forces displays part of a document in Arabic describing weaponry, that was found at the site of U.S. airstrikes on an Islamic State camp that killed dozens, near the western city of Sabratha, Libya. The work of photographer and video journalist Mohamed Ben Khalifa, who was killed in Libya on Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019, reflected Libya's post-2011 chaos of rival militias fighting for control as well as the humanitarian tragedy of waves of people fleeing North Africa, the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa. Mohamed Ben Khalifa, File / AP Photo

Nearly 6,000 Civilians Were Killed In Middle East Last Year

Nearly 6,000 non-combatants lost their lives to international military actions in Syria, Iraq and Libya last year, according to a new report from Airwars, a collaborative, not-for-profit transparency project that tracks civilian casualties from international airstrikes in those three countries. Those 6,000 deaths represent a reported casualty decrease from 2017 in those areas. Nonetheless, Protocol I of the Geneva Conventions (to which the United States and few other countries are non-signatory) forbids “launching an indiscriminate attack affecting the civilian population or civilian objects in the knowledge that such attack will cause excessive loss of life.” Chris Woods, who founded and directs Airwars, joins us to discuss how his organization monitors civilian casualties, demands accountability for deaths and advocates on behalf of at-risk civilians. Given that America’s conventional war against ISIS is ramping down, we’ll look at what actions to expect from international forces moving forward.