has experienced a spike in civilian deaths from airstrikes, according to UN figures
released this week. So far in 2018, 649 civilians were killed and injured due to aerial operations, a 39 percent increase on the same period in 2017. The number of casualties in the first nine months of 2018 is already higher than in any year since UNAMA started documenting incidents back in 2009.
Taking a closer look at the data, 313 civilians have been killed while 336 have been injured. The figures are raising questions about the use of air power by the Afghan military and its international partners. The U.S. has increased its support for the Afghan air force, supplying it with A-29 attack aircraft, Blackhawk helicopters and a host of munitions, particularly unguided rockets and bombs. Increasing numbers of sorties by coalition aircraft and the use of unguided weaponry by the Afghan air force are thought to be major contributory factors to the increasing death toll.