Nearly as many Iraqi and Syrian civilians have died in US-led air strikes under Donald Trump as were killed during the whole administration of Barack Obama, independent analysts say.
As of 13 July, more than 2,200 civilians had been killed by the US-led international coalition against Isis since Donald Trump entered the White house in January – compared with the estimated 2,300 civilians who died during similar strikes between 2014 and 2016.
Roughly 80 civilians per month died in strikes under Mr Obama but this has now risen to approximately 360 per month under Mr Trump, according to research by the military tracking organisation Airwars.
Part of the rise in these figures is due to the changing nature of the war against Isis, as the jihadist group became entrenched in the major cities of Mosul and Raqqa, coalition officials say, though they insist that every effort is made to avoid civilian casualties.
Despite this, there are indications that under President Trump protections for civilians on the battlefield have been lessened, the Daily Beast reported.
The coalition’s own civilian casualty figures are much lower than Airwars’, but they too show an increase since January.
Around 40 per cent of the 603 civilians the coalition has admitted killing during the campaign died during the first four months of Mr Trump’s administration.
The new figures come after Mr Trump promised to “bomb the s*** out of Isis” on the campaign trail.
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Following a new war plan unveiled by US Secretary of Defense General James Mattis in February, the US has focused its efforts on “annihilation tactics” and “shoving Isis out of safe locations in an attrition fight”.
But during a meeting of the anti-Isis coalition in May, General Mattis insisted there had been “no changes to our continued extraordinary efforts to avoid innocent civilian casualties”.
In one incident in Mosul in March, the US admitted it was responsible for the deaths of 101 men, women and children.
Britain, France, Australia and Belgium have also taken part in the bombing campaign but the US is the only one to admit responsibility for any civilian deaths.