In a statement, the Pentagon confirmed that coalition airstrikes against ISIS in Syria “likely resulted” in the deaths of two children, the Guardian reports. The airstrikes were carried out in early November of last year against facilities in Harem, near Aleppo, controlled by the Khorasan group, an al-Qaida affiliate.
According to the Guardian, the Pentagon has denied for months that there have been any civilian fatalities as a result of the U.S.-led coalition’s campaign against the Islamic State. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, however, reports that at least 66 civilians have been killed in coalition airstrikes since September.
Several months after reports of civilian casualties spread across social media following the November 5th airstrike in Harem, an investigation was launched. “A preponderance of the evidence available indicates the strikes likely resulted in the deaths of two civilian children at or near one of the targeted locations,” the investigation found.
One of 2 children killed by coalition in Syria was 5 yr old Daniya Ali Al Haj Qaddour- pictured here with her father pic.twitter.com/BCNb6Um1SFMay 21, 2015
“We regret the unintentional loss of lives,” Lieutenant General James L Terry, the commander of Operation Inherent Resolve, said in a statement. “The Coalition continues to take all reasonable measures during the targeting process to mitigate risks to non-combatants, and to comply with the principles of the Law of Armed Conflict.”