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The Civilian Cost Of Airstrikes

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Airstrikes target Islamic State

Airstrikes target Islamic State positions on the edge of the Old City a day after Iraq’s prime minister declared “total victory” in Mosul, Iraq, Tuesday, July 11, 2017. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

After the Iraqi military reclaimed the city of Mosul last week, the international coalition fighting ISIS turned its attention to Raqqa, the de-facto capital of ISIS in Syria. The American-led coalition against ISIS has also turned to airstrikes as a means to get through to Syria. But, as the London-based investigative outfit Airwars notes, the nature of airstrikes leaves civilians at most risk. 

According to Airwars, almost as many civilians have been killed from airstrikes since Trump’s inauguration — 2,200 — as were under Obama’s entire presidency. They project that civilian deaths will double under Trump. On Thursday, Deputy Assistant to President Trump Sebastian Gorka wrote in The Hill, "with the liberation of Mosul, the death knell of the caliphate is being rung, and ISIS is on the run. All this thanks to our replacing a strategy of attrition with a strategy of annihilation." 

For more on the civilian cost of this strategy, we talk to Chris Woods, the head of Airwars.

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