The seal of Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve.

The seal of Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve. ()

WASHINGTON — U.S. warplanes targeting the Islamic State group have killed 173 civilians accidentally in airstrikes since August 2014, officials for Operation Inherent Resolve announced Thursday.

The two most deadly airstrikes occurred in northern Syria in July.

Twenty-four civilians were killed July 18 during a strike in Manbij which also killed more than 100 Islamic State fighters and destroyed multiple vehicles and fighting positions, officials said.

“Unknown to coalition planners, civilians were moving around within the military staging area, even as other civilians in the nearby village had departed over the previous days,” according to a statement about the strike from officials for Operation Inherent Resolve.

On July 28, near Arghanndorh, another 15 civilians were killed when an Islamic State group vehicle that coalition forces has fired upon drove among civilians and slowed before the munition reached it.

“Although the coalition makes extraordinary efforts to strike military targets in a manner that minimizes the risk of civilian casualties, in some cases casualties are unavoidable,” the Operation Inherent Resolve statement said.

U.S. officials are still investigating three other reported incidents that occurred in October, but included no details about those airstrikes. The air campaign against the Islamic State began in August 2014. Twitter: @TaraCopp

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