Maybe when President Donald Trump boasts about “taking out ISIS,” he means on a date. Leave it to a media/real estate/reality TV celebrity: Trump is ISIS’s greatest publicist.
Non-profit group Airwars, which monitors the battle against the Islamic State, reports that airstrikes in Iraq and Syria have killed more than 2,200 civilians in coalition military operations since Trump and his administration took office in January, nearly surpassing those suffered during the entire eight years of former President Barack Obama’s administration.
The Pentagon disputes these numbers, arguing instead 603 civilians have died in coalition strikes. It acknowledges, though, most of those deaths occurred during Trump’s brief tenure.
Following a March coalition airstrike in Mosul that killed more than 100 people, U.S. Central Command head, Gen. Joseph Votel, told the House Armed Services Committee the Pentagon had not relaxed rules of engagement since Trump assumed office, claiming ISIS tactics were responsible for civilian deaths.
The general told lawmakers:
“It is important to clearly recognize that the enemy does use human shields.”
In that Mosul struggle, the U.S. dropped a 500-pound bomb on a building where two ISIS fighters were apparently spotted on the roof.
Another incident reported 11 family members killed after a coalition bomb targeted an ISIS fighter standing on a roof a few houses away.
After a grisly, yearlong campaign, coalition forces recently expelled ISIS fighters from Mosul. Attempts to do the same are currently underway against ISIS-held Raqqa, Syria.
Last April, the Pentagon stated it was relaxing pre-approval requirements before engaging in a strike likely to result in civilian deaths.
According to administration officials:
“Before the change, there were some limited cases in which civilian casualties were allowed. Now, however, there are several targeting areas in which the probability of 10 civilian casualties are permitted.”
Let’s not forget, when talking about the counter-ISIS maneuvers while on the campaign trail in 2015, Trump vowed to “take out their families.”
It appears as though Trump may be keeping a campaign promise after all: giving ISIS precisely what it wants.
Featured Image: Screenshot Via YouTube Video.