Pentagon Releases 2021 Civilian Casualty Report, Three Somali Civilians Injured in Airstrike
The US military killed a dozen civilians and injured five others in operations undertaken abroad during 2021, the Defense Department said in its annual report on civilian casualties on Tuesday, including civilain Somalis.
“The Defense Department assesses that there were approximately 12 civilians killed and approximately 5 civilians injured during 2021 as a result of US military operations,” the report said.
The Defense Department received four credible reports of civilian casualty incidents in Afghanistan in 2021 that resulted in 12 deaths and 2 injuries, the report said.
The United States withdrew its forces from Afghanistan in August 2021 at the direction of President Joe Biden, resulting in a swift takeover of the country by the Taliban.
The US Africa Command assesses that three civilians were injured as the result of an airstrike in Somalia in January as well, the report said.
The three civilians were injured as a result of a U.S. airstrike in the vicinity of Qunyo Barrow, Somalia, on January 1, 2021. AFRICOM also re-opened a previously closed assessment of a report of civilian casualties, involving a May 9, 2018, joint Somali-U.S. military operation.
The assessment was reopened based on information received in 2021 through the USAFRICOM on-line reporting portal.
The new assessment, which included review of the additional information, did not change the original conclusion that the report of civilian casualties was not credible.
The Defense Department continues to assess three reports of civilian casualty incidents in Iraq and Syria as part of Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve, the report also said.
The US responds to civilian casualty incidents by acknowledging responsibility, providing medical care or providing payments; one such payment was made in 2021 for an incident in Herat, Afghanistan, in January, the report added.
US government assessments may differ from those of non-governmental organizations and other groups due to differences in methodology, according to the report.