Syria: Military Intervention

Ministry of Defence written question – answered on 16th October 2017.

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Photo of Jo Swinson Jo Swinson Deputy Leader, Liberal Democrats, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Foreign Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what recent estimate he has made of the number of civilians killed by coalition airstrikes in Syria.

Photo of Mark Lancaster Mark Lancaster The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence

As operations in Iraq and Syria have intensified we are seeing increasing evidence of Daesh's callous disregard for human life, their unwillingness to allow civilians to leave their homes and in some cases their deliberate attempts to use civilians to shield fighters from coalition strikes. This is why we must accept the risk of inadvertent civilian casualties. Rigorous coalition targeting processes take into account the conditions on the ground, including the potential presence of a civilian population. Reports of civilian casualties are and will continue to be taken very seriously. The Coalition investigates all credible claims and the results of any investigation are published.

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