British claim that RAF airstrikes against ISIL have not killed any civilians

by omouggos

According to the UK Ministry of Defense the 750 airstrikes against ISIL by the Royal Air Force (RAF) in Iraq and Syria have killed 996 ISIL militants.[1] The data released via a freedom of information request also claims that not a single civilian was killed by these airstrikes. I must respectfully say that such a claim is bullshit.

First of all does anyone really believe that RAF airstrikes are so precise and so well coordinated that no instances of collateral civilian deaths occurred? Furthermore according to the website Air Wars, which monitors coalition airstrikes against ISIL, as of May 3, 12,043 airstrikes have caused a minimum of 1,172 likely civilian deaths.[2] This amounts to ~9.7 civilian deaths per 100 airstrikes, and since there have been 750 British airstrikes against ISIL, and assuming that the rate of collateral damage inflicted by British and other coalition nation’s airstrikes are comparable, this amounts to ~73 civilian deaths.

For comparison Air Wars reports that Russian airstrikes in Syria have killed at least 723 civilians.[3] Based on a recent report by TASS that Russia has conducted 9,500 sorties in Syria this amounts to ~7.6 deaths per 100 sortie (I will assume that a sortie and airstrike are equivalent).[4]  However, based on the sources of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) there have been 1869 civilian death resulting from Russian airstrikes, which amounts to ~20 deaths per 100 sorties.[5]

Based on this cursory analysis we can see that modern airforces that are bombing ISIL in Syria and Iraq have civilian casualties rates ranging from 7.6 to 20 deaths per 100 airstrikes. That the RAF is so much more advanced and skilled than either the American or Russian air forces that they have a civilian fatality rate of 0 is rubbish. As Chris Woods the director of Air Wars said about the RAF statistics, they are “ridiculous.”[1]

O Mouggos


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