Trump's Strikes Have Almost Killed More Civilians In Iraq And Syria Than Obama's Did

by John Haltiwanger
Elsa/Getty Images

President Donald Trump's war against ISIS is leading to a shocking number of civilian deaths in Iraq and Syria, according to an investigation conducted by the watchdog Airwars and The Daily Beast.

Since Trump became president, U.S.-led coalition air strikes in Iraq and Syria have led to roughly 2,200 civilian deaths, according to the investigation.

Comparatively, there were roughly 2,300 civilian deaths while Barack Obama was in the White House.

In other words, in less than a year, Trump has already killed almost as many civilians fighting ISIS as Obama did during his entire time in office.

During the U.S. presidential campaign, Trump promised to "bomb the sh*t out of" ISIS. Delivering on that promise clearly has devastating consequences.

Obama first approved air strikes against ISIS back in August 2014. During Obama's tenure, roughly 80 civilians died per month in Iraq and Syria due to U.S.-led coalition airstrikes against ISIS, according to Airwars.

Now that Trump is in office, Airwars says 360 civilians are killed in Iraq and Syria per month, or roughly 12 per day.

Estimates of civilian casualties in war are always a subject of debate, given the challenges in actually gathering the data (violent conflict is messy and dangerous) and the fact governments involved don't want the real numbers out there.

But, even if you take a look at the official numbers, far more civilians in Iraq and Syria have died under Trump than Obama.

According to the official numbers, of the 603 civilians the U.S.-led coalition admits have been killed in the fight against ISIS, 40 percent occurred in first four months of Trump's presidency.

What's more, the Pentagon recently admitted to killing over 100 civilians in an air strike in Mosul back in March,

Long story short, both official and independent reports show a sharp uptick in civilian deaths in Iraq and Syria since Trump became president.

Are these air strikes just creating new terrorists?

There is a debate over whether or not the increased number of civilian deaths under Trump is linked to reckless policy or the fact ISIS is on its last legs and the fight has intensified.

At the same time, experts argue air strikes that lead to high numbers of civilian deaths generate animosity toward the United States and serve as a recruiting tool for terrorist groups like ISIS.

Accordingly, it's worth asking whether these air strikes are creating more terrorists than they're eliminating.

After all, the U.S. has now been fighting the so-called "War on Terror" for almost two decades -- across three presidencies.