Figures based upon reported variety of US airstrikes highlight the human cost of the 20-year ‘war top top terror’


People gathered roughly the incinerated rice peel of a vehicle targeted through a us drone strike, which killed 10 world including children, in Kabul, Afghanistan, 30 august 2021. Photograph: Marcus Yam/REX/Shutterstock
People gathered roughly the incinerated rice peel of a auto targeted by a us drone strike, which eliminated 10 people including children, in Kabul, Afghanistan, 30 respectable 2021. Photograph: Marcus Yam/REX/Shutterstock

US drone and also airstrikes have actually killed at the very least 22,000 civilians – and perhaps as plenty of as 48,000 – due to the fact that the 9/11 terrorist strikes in 2001, according to brand-new analysis released by the civilian injury monitoring group Airwars.

You are watching: How many people have been killed by drones

The analysis, based upon the us military’s own assertion that it has actually conducted nearly 100,000 airstrikes since 2001, represents an effort to calculation the variety of civilian deaths throughout the multiple conflicts that have actually comprised elements of the “war ~ above terror”.

The figures, released just ahead the the 20th anniversary that 9/11, come as the united state president, Joe Biden, promised to finish the “forever wars” that have significant the past two decades, and with the united state withdrawal that troops native Afghanistan.

Since acquisition office Biden has diminished US dependency on airstrikes amid a formal testimonial of united state drone policy, and has withdrawn from many of the foreign interventions that significant the time in office the his three predecessors George W Bush, Barack Obama and also Donald Trump, because the 2001 attacks on the united state by al-Qaida.

Encompassing strikes on Islamic State in Syria, the disputes in Iraq and Afghanistan, and strikes versus militant and terror teams in Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan and Libya, the US has said it had conducted at least 91,340 strikes in twenty years – including 9,000 versus the Islamic State, the Airwars report said.

Based on the total, Airwars has actually calculated the “US action likely killed at least 22,679 civilians, through that number possibly as high as 48,308”.

According come the group’s research, the deadliest year in the previous two years for civilian victim of united state airstrikes was 2003 once a minimum that 5,529 civilians to be reported to have been killed, virtually all throughout the intrusion of Iraq that year.

The next deadliest year was 2017 as soon as at the very least 4,931 civilians were most likely killed, the vast bulk in coalition battle of Iraq and also Syria.

However, walk by the preferably estimates, 2017 emerges together the worst year for civilians, through up to 19,623 killed, nearly all in the battle campaign versus IS.

The fatality toll from us airstrikes – which the team admits is imprecise – compares with an approximated 387,000 civilians who are believed to have been killed by every parties throughout the war on terror, according to job-related done by Brown University’s expenses of battle Programme.

The problem of civilian casualties of west airstrikes and also other military activities during the war on terror has constantly been highly disputed territory, with the US and its allies insisting the strenuous initiatives have been made to minimise civilian death and also injury.

And regardless of the wide-ranging umbrella of operations that have encompassed the war on terror, the united state – follow to a statement issued by the Pentagon – has actually never seek to calculate a full of civilian deaths ascribed come actions under that is aegis.

An email reply to Airwars native the Pentagon’s main Command (Centcom) claimed that the did not have actually information obtainable on the total variety of civilian deaths indigenous airstrikes.

See more: How Many Taco Bells Are In The Us, States With The Most Taco Bells And What It Means

“The info you inquiry is not immediately on hand in ours office as it spans between multiple operations/campaigns in ~ a expectancy of in between 18 and 20 years,” Centcom said.