12 civilians killed by US military in 2021: Pentagon
Published: Sep 28, 2022 09:09 PM
The US military killed 12 civilians in 2021, all in Afghanistan, according to a Pentagon report released on Tuesday.

The Department of Defense "assesses that there were approximately 12 civilians killed and approximately five civilians injured during 2021 as a result of US military operations," said the report, which the US Congress has required to be produced annually since 2018, and part of which is classified.

All of the civilian deaths occurred in Afghanistan, according to the public part of the report. 

The Pentagon has already acknowledged its responsibility for the deaths of 10 members of the same family, including seven children, during the chaotic US withdrawal from Afghanistan at the end of August 2021. 

The public document specifies that a civilian was killed in a US strike on January 8, 2021 in Herat, and another on August 11, 2021 in Kandahar. 

Two civilians were also wounded on January 18, 2021 in Kandahar.

In addition, the US military admitted having wounded three civilians on January 1, 2021 in a strike in Qunyo Barrow, Somalia. 

The Pentagon also reassessed its counts from the years 2018 to 2020, recognizing 10 more dead and 18 wounded, all in Syria. 

NGOs regularly publish much higher assessments of deaths and injuries from US strikes in conflict zones. 

In January 2022, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin urged the military to do more to avoid civilian casualties in airstrikes, after several deadly blunders that tarnished the reputation of the military. 

Protecting civilians is a "strategic and moral imperative," Austin noted in a memo to the military chain of command.