A study by a charity shows that UK airstrikes in Iraq and Syria may have killed at least 26 civilians.
Action on Armed Violence says it has found evidence that between March 2016 and March 2018, at least nine RAF strikes killed civilians.
It also said that the Ministry of Defense’s claim that its seven-year fight against the Islamic State group led to the death of one civilian was no longer credible.
The Ministry of Defense said there was “no evidence” that civilians were killed in the strikes.
A military spokesman said that the military looks at all evidence, including mission data from each strike.
AOAV, a group that studies the effects of wars around the world, looked at the UK strikes. The BBC has not checked AOAV’s findings on its own.
Based on its own research, the charity says it is likely that at least 26 civilians were killed by UK strikes in the two years between March 2016 and March 2018. It is possible that as many as 32 civilians were killed.
Most of the strikes that killed civilians were “self-reported,” which means that military members in the US-led coalition said they were worried that civilians may have been killed.
All but one of the nine strikes looked at had “credible” reports of civilian deaths, and civilian deaths were thought to be “likely” or “highly likely.”
AOAV looked at the MoD strike reports that were released after each attack and checked them against information from US Central Command, research by other charities, reports from the ground, and news reports from the BBC, among other sources.
On May 19, 2017, there was a credible report of civilian deaths in the Iraqi city of Mosul. The RAF said that seven IS targets were hit by Tornado jets that day. The incident was reported by itself.
The New York Times got a copy of the report from the US coalition, which said that three civilians were near a target. It said, “The explosion caused by hitting the mortar site was big enough to say that anyone in the blast radius was seriously hurt or killed.”
The RAF has never agreed that its strike caused civilian deaths.