Civilian deaths in war against Islamic State inevitable: Pentagon head

| Updated: May 29, 2017 11:17 IST

Washington D. C. [USA], May 29 (ANI): U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis on Sunday said that civilian casualties in the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) are inevitable even as the U.S. forces "do everything humanly possible" to prevent them. "Civilian casualties are a fact of life in this sort of situation. We do everything humanly possible consistent with military necessity, taking many chances to avoid civilian casualties at all costs," Mattis told CBS. His statement came after reports suggesting that a recent U.S. lead coalition airstrike killed at least 20 civilians in the city of Raqqa, Syria. Last week it was reported that at least 106 civilians, including 42 children, were killed in a series of air strikes by the US-led coalition on an ISIS-held town in eastern Syria. The U.S. released an estimate last month of the number of civilian deaths in the fight against ISIS, pegging the figure at 352 while non-profit groups have said that the figure is likely much higher. Mattis added President Donald Trump's administration is "accelerating the tempo" of the fight against the ISIS. (ANI)