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US acknowledges killing more civilians in Iraq, Syria strikes

Smoke billows following a reported air strike by the US-led coalition on February 3, 2016 in the area of al-Sajariyah area, east of the city of Ramadi, the capital of Iraq's Anbar provinceThe Pentagon acknowledged Friday that 20 civilians were killed in US air strikes on Islamic State targets over a five-month period, more than doubling an ongoing tally of such deaths to 41. Observers were quick to dismiss the toll as “unbelievable,” warning the toll is likely much higher given the intensity of the 20-month-old air campaign that has unleashed 12,000 plane and drone strikes — often in urban areas. The latest figures from US Central Command are based on investigations into nine strikes in Iraq and Syria between September 10 and February 2, including one in Atshanah, Iraq that killed eight civilians and another in the Iraqi city of Ramadi that killed five.

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