Children made up almost 40% of all civilian deaths in Afghanistan from airstrikes between 2016 and 2020

Planes dropping bombs

The Action on Armed Violence (AOAV) charity has analysed UN data and found that almost 40% of the victims of airstrikes in Afghanistan between 2016 and 2020 were children.

Airstrikes have killed 2,122 civilians. This includes 785 children (37% of all deaths). Almost 62% of these deaths were at the hands of international forces. This information comes from the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).

AOAV explains how the reduction in foreign ground troops in Afghanistan has led to an increase in “US aerial operations”, with support from the Afghan Air Force, against the Taliban. It also reminds us, as the Afghan Air Force gets ready to “take control of aerial operations”, that the US military “helped establish the Afghan Air Force in its current form, and have supplied and trained it since 2005, spending $8billion over the past decade in the process”.

An end to US involvement?

As Phoenix Media Co-op reported previously:

On 14 April, US president Joe Biden pledged to pull the country’s remaining troops out of its war in Afghanistan by a strict deadline of 11 September this year.

But AOAV points out:

it is likely that several hundred special forces and private military contractors will remain in Afghanistan

Author Norman Solomon has also highlighted this issue, saying:

No matter what the White House and the headlines say, U.S. taxpayers won’t stop subsidizing the killing in Afghanistan until there is an end to the bombing and “special operations” that remain shrouded in secrecy.

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