At least 13 women and children were killed and 12 others injured in strikes in Logar province, the UN mission in Afghanistan has said. The US is investigating the incident. 

The US supported an operation in Somalia during which 10 civilians, including three young children, were reportedly killed.

There was a single strike in Yemen and no strikes recorded in Pakistan during August. 

Afghanistan

The US has launched an official investigation into allegations of civilian casualties from an incident in Logar province, south of Kabul, on August 30. Reports suggest possible US strikes targeted Taliban insurgents using a civilian compound to attack an aircraft.

This is the third allegation of civilian casualties from possible US strikes this month. In the previous two incidents the US has categorically denied any role. 

There were 387 strikes in Afghanistan in August, compared to just 80 in the same month last year, US data shows. This continues a heightened pace in US air operations since April. Nangarhar province, where Afghanistan’s branch of Islamic State has gained a stronghold, was hit the most, as was the case last month. 

Most of this month’s strikes were “strategic effects” strikes, carried out in support of Afghan strategic goals, including defending key towns and cities. There were only 17 counter-terrorism strikes, a sharp decrease from previous months. It is unclear what the sudden drop indicates.

Bureau data August 2017 2015 onwards
US strikes: 387 3,656-3,657
Total killed: 188-255 3,035-4,095
Civilians reported killed: 0-48 153-268

 
The Bureau is collecting data on individual strikes in Afghanistan, summarised above. However not all strikes are reported in open source material. The US Air Force publishes an aggregate summary of strikes in Afghanistan without any casualty information, which we have reproduced below. The figures for August 2017 will be released in September. 
 

US Air Force data July
2017
January 2015 onwards
Total Close Air Support (CAS) sorties with at least one weapon release: 107 1,646
Total CAS sorties: 371 13,356
Total weapons released: 350 4,268

The Bureau’s timeline of events in the drone war in Afghanistan so far in 2017.

A database of all US strikes recorded by the Bureau in Afghanistan since 2015.

Pakistan

There were no confirmed strikes in Pakistan in August. 

The future of the drone programme in Pakistan is unclear. President Trump warned in a recent speech that he would “no longer be silent about Pakistan’s safe haven for terrorist organisations.” US officials have said he may expand the use of drones in the country.

The CIA’s drone programme did resume in the country in March after a nine month hiatus, but there have been no confirmed strikes since June 13
 

  August 2017 2004 onwards
US drone strikes: 0 428
Total killed: 0 2,511-4,020
Civilians reported killed: 0 424-969

The Bureau’s timeline of events in the drone war in Pakistan in 2017.

A database of all US drone strikes recorded by the Bureau in Pakistan from 2004 to the end of May 2016.

Somalia

A Somali operation, supported by US forces, reportedly led to the deaths of 10 civilians, including three young children, in Bariire in the Lower Shabelle region on August 25. The extent of the US role is not yet clear.  

The deaths have raised tensions in Somalia, with the bodies of the victims taken to the capital and left on display. 

The attack comes as US strikes in Somalia are increasing. The US carried out a strike on August 31, which reportedly killed one al Shabaab member. It also announced three strikes between August 16 and 17, killing seven al Shabaab fighters, and two other strikes on August 10. 

Authorities passed in March gave US commanders greater freedom to carry out raids and strikes in Somalia. No strikes were however carried out until June. The authorities may expire at the end of September, meaning the uptick could be short-lived. 
 

   August 2017 2007 onwards
All confirmed US operations: 7 55
Total killed: 8-19 333-500
Civilians reported killed: 0-10 10-38

The Bureau’s timeline of events in the drone war in Somalia.

A database of all US drone strikes, air strikes and missile strikes recorded by the Bureau in Somalia since 2007.

 

Yemen

The US confirmed it carried out a strike against AQAP in Abyan province on August 13, but did not provide any details on possible casualties. 

A security official told Xinhua that at least three suspected al Qaeda fighters were killed when a drone fired two missiles at a vehicle they were travelling in. 

Other sources reported two al Qaeda hide-outs were targeted by strikes in the same area. Reportedly one hit while a meeting was being held in one of the hide-outs. It was not clear whether these were US strikes and no additional details were provided. 
 

  August 2017 2001 onwards
All confirmed US operations: 1 255-277
Total killed: 0-3 890-1,231
Civilians reported killed: 0 166-210

The Bureau’s timeline of events in the drone war in Yemen so far in 2017.

A database of all US drone strikes, air strikes and missile strikes recorded by the Bureau in Yemen since 2001.

 

Source: The Bureau of Investigative Journalism.

Disclaimer: Views expressed on this blog are not necessarily endorsed or supported by the Center for Research and Security Studies (CRSS) and Afghan Studies Center (ASC), Islamabad.

 

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