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Pentagon: Over 600 Iraqi, Syrian Civilians Killed In U.S.-led Coalition Air Strikes Since 2014

Smoke rises after an air strike in western Mosul on March 10, 2017.

The Pentagon says U.S.-led coalition air strikes in Syria and Iraq have killed a total of 603 civilians since the air campaign against the Islamic State (IS) extremist group was launched in 2014.

The Pentagon's estimate of civilian deaths between August 2014 and May 2017 was far lower than figures provided by monitoring groups.

The monitoring group Airwars says a total of at least 4,354 civilians have been killed by coalition air strikes during the same period.

The Pentagon report released on July 7 says nearly half of all those civilian deaths occurred in or near the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, the last remaining IS stronghold in Iraq. The report did not further specify locations of the air strikes.

The coalition defines a credible casualty assessment as one that "more likely than not" resulted in civilian deaths.

Claims of civilian casualties have increased in Iraq and Syria in recent months as military operations against IS in Mosul and across Syria have accelerated.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters