U.S. airstrikes against the Islamic State group likely killed eight civilians and injured three more, U.S. Central Command said in a release Friday.
The five airstrikes took place last year between April and July in Iraq and Syria, CENTCOM said. The airstrikes are:
- An April 12, 2015, strike on an ISIS tactical unit near al Huwayja, Iraq, that killed two unidentified civilians.
- A June 11, 2015, strike against an ISIS tactical unit near Soluk, Syria, that killed three unidentified civilians.
- A June 19, 2015, strike against two ISIS vehicles near Tall al Adwaniyah, Syria, that injured one civilian. CENTCOM said the civilian appeared in the area after a U.S. aircraft released its weapon.
- Strikes against one ISIS tactical unit and two ISIS vehicles near Haditha, Iraq, on June 29, 2015, that injured two civilians. CENTCOM said that after a U.S. aircraft engaged the target, and two seconds prior to impact, a car slowed down in front of the ISIS vehicles while a motorcycle passed by. CENTCOM said that the aircraft destroyed the vehicle it was aiming for, but "there was insufficient evidence to determine the level of injuries to the civilians operating the passing car and the motorcycle."
- A July 4, 2015, strike against a "high value individual" in ISIS near Ar Raqqah, Syria. After the weapon was released, a car and a motorcycle entered the target area, CENTCOM said. Three unidentified civilians were likely killed in that blast, CENTCOM said.
"We deeply regret the unintentional loss of life and injuries resulting from those airstrikes and express our deepest sympathies to the victims' families and those affected," CENTCOM said in the release. "The coalition takes all feasible precautions to avoid civilian casualties during the course of military operations. In all of the cases released today, assessments determined that although the air strikes complied with the law of armed conflict and all appropriate precautions were taken, civilian casualties unfortunately did occur."
Stephen Losey is the air warfare reporter at Defense News. He previously reported for Military.com, covering the Pentagon, special operations and air warfare. Before that, he covered U.S. Air Force leadership, personnel and operations for Air Force Times.