U.S. to Admit 20 More Civilian Deaths

The U.S. military will admit later today to nine instances of coalition strikes that have killed 20 civilians in a five-month period in the campaign against ISIS, a Defense Department official tells The Daily Beast.

Those figures nearly double the number of cases the U.S. has admitted to during the 20-month campaign—in just a five-month period. Up until this latest tranche, the Pentagon had admitted to killing 21 civilians and injuring an additional nine.

On Friday, that figure jumps to 41 killed and 20 injured.

The spike in mistaken deaths comes as the U.S. military admitted this week that the decision over when to carry out U.S. strikes has moved from being decided exclusively at U.S. Central Command to commanders in Iraq. Officials said moving that decision lower down the chain of command would not lead to higher civilian deaths, but rather faster movements against potential threats.

These figures, which span nearly the entire time the decision-making moved lower down in the chain the command, suggest otherwise.

—Nancy A. Youssef