U.S.-led forces acknowledge killing 50 more civilians in Iraq, Syria

Debris from damaged buildings are seen from a hole at a rebel-held area in Deraa, Syria August 2, 2017. REUTERS/Alaa al-Faqir

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. led coalition fighting Islamic State militants on Friday confirmed that another 50 civilians had been killed in strikes in Iraq and Syria, raising the total number of civilians it has killed to 735 since the conflict began in 2014.

The coalition said in a statement that during August, it had assessed 185 reports of civilian casualties and found that the additional 50 deaths occurred in 14 incidents that it deemed were credible.

The coalition, battling to defeat Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, says it goes to great lengths to avoid civilian casualties.

The military’s official tally is far below those of outside organizations. The monitoring group Airwars says at least 5,486 civilians have been killed by coalition air strikes.

Reporting by Idrees Ali; Editing by Andrew Hay