Human Rights Watch on Thursday called on the U.S Defense Department to urgently adopt measures to better protect civilians in the Afghan armed conflict.
In a letter to the Defense Secretary James Mattis, the human rights watchdog said: “Increasing numbers of civilian deaths and injuries from U.S airstrikes in Afghanistan raise concerns that the procedures for vetting airstrikes are inadequate,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch.
“The U.S review of its Afghan strategy is a crucial opportunity for adopting changes to minimize civilian casualties.”
This comes amid ongoing reports that the U.S government is currently conducting a review of its Afghanistan strategy and support to the Afghan government in its efforts against the Taliban, Al-Qaeda, and Daesh-affiliated armed groups.
Civilian casualties in Afghanistan have steadily increased in recent years, with 2016 seeing the highest toll recorded since 2008 with a total of 11,418 (3,498 deaths and 7,920 injured), according to the United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan (UNAMA).
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