Pentagon Civilian Casualties Report Contains Glaring Gaps
Washington, D.C.—In response to today’s report submitted to Congress by the Department of Defense on civilian casualties, Human Rights First’s Rita Siemion issued the following statement:
“The Department of Defense’s report on civilian casualties contains glaring gaps, including a blatant disregard for statutory requirements to provide the number of combatant casualties and to list all operations that were reasonably suspected to have resulted in civilian casualties.
“Instead of meeting these legal requirements the report provides only lump totals and only of the limited category of civilian casualty reports deemed credible by the Department of Defense. Even this limited information is incomplete, with 450 reports of civilian casualties from 2017 still unassessed by the Pentagon five months into 2018 and a month after the report to Congress was due.
“Congress must demand more and must ensure adequate staffing and resources for the department to prioritize this issue and properly respond to allegations of civilian harm.”