- The Washington Times - Monday, June 11, 2012

U.S. airstrikes accidentally hit Afghan civilian compounds less than 1 percent of the time, but there is a 1-in-4 chance that civilians will be killed when they are hit, according to the deputy U.S. commander in Afghanistan.

Army Lt. Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti said 19 of 3,531 airstrikes in the last six months hit Afghan civilian compounds. Five of those 19 stikes caused civilian casualties.

“We want to bring the civilian casualties to zero, if possible,” Gen. Scaparrotti said Monday at a Pentagon briefing.

“It’s never intentional,” he said. “The enemy’s is intentional often. Ours is not. But we’ve got to get after that. And I think that’s part of this. It’s the spirit of the tactical directive to get us to a very reduced number of civilian casualties.”

Gen. Scaparrotti said civilian casaulties in the past year have declined 52 percent.

• Kristina Wong can be reached at kwong@washingtontimes.com.

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