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U.S. Investigating Civilian Casualties In Iraq, Syrian Air Strikes

The Pentagon is investigating reports that civilians might have been killed during two air strikes last year in Iraq and Syria.

A spokesman for the U.S. Central Command, Colonel Patrick Ryder, said on January 6 that the U.S. military investigated 18 allegations of civilian casualties during U.S.-led coalition bombings in Syria and Iraq between August 8 and December 30.

Ryder provided few details about the two incidents still under investigation except to say they involved "fewer than five" alleged civilian casualties.

Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby confirmed the two ongoing investigations and said, "This is something we always take seriously."

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said in October that 32 civilians were killed after the first month of coalition strikes in Syria as well as 467 fighters from the Islamic State militant group.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP