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U.S. Airstrike Against ISIS Killed 4 Civilians, Military Says

by Courtney Kube and Phil Helsel /  / Updated 

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The U.S. military said Friday that four civilians were likely killed in airstrikes targeting the terror group ISIS in Iraq earlier this year.

One of the civilians killed in the March 13 airstrike may have been a child, U.S. Central Command said. The airstrike targeted an ISIS checkpoint near al Hatra, the military said.

"We regret the unintentional loss of lives and keep those families affected in our thoughts," Lt. Gen. C.Q. Brown, U.S. Air Forces Central Command commander, said in a statement.

The military is currently reviewing 26 incidents for possible civilian casualties in Iraq and Syria, Central Command spokesperson Colonel Pat Ryder said.

Related: U.S. Targets ISIS' Diverse Financial Roots

The March strike was conducted by A-10 aircraft, officials said. The military said the checkpoint was "thoroughly reviewed and validated as an ISIL checkpoint," using a name by which ISIS is also known.

Central Command said an investigation into the strike determined that the checkpoints and vehicles struck were considered lawful targets at the time. The intended target was destroyed, and two vehicles at the checkpoint were also hit, the military said.

"The coalition continues to take all reasonable measures during the targeting process to reduce as much as possible risks to non-combatants,” Brown said.

President Barack Obama authorized airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq in August, and in September launched the first airstrikes against the group in Syria. The terror group controls parts of Iraq and Syria.

Related: Russia Launches Airstrikes in Syria

"Our goal is to defeat Daesh, a terrorist organization that continuously wraps itself around the population, and we do everything we can to prevent unintended deaths or injuries to non-combatants,” Brown said, referring to a name sometimes used to describe ISIS.

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