The Pentagon has allowed for more civilian casualties in the fight against Islamic State (ISIS), USAToday reports Friday, with targets of up to 10 risked civilian casualties allowed.
Defense department and other security officials revealed to the daily that requests for targets in Syria have trickled down to form a sliding scale, with more casualties approved in the event it would cause greater damage to ISIS terrorists or their aims.
More and more decisions have been delegated to Army General Sean MacFarland, the commander of Operation Inherent Resolve, instead of waiting for approval from upper-level committees such as US Central Command headquarters.
Despite this, high-risk missions still require White House approval, one official very close to the war effort stated.
Military officials stress that the US Army takes measures to limit the number of civilian casualties, such as using targeted bombs, and bombing at night when buildings are less likely to be occupied.
This, after damning evidence was revealed in late 2014 proving that 96% of US drone strikes in the Middle East hit unarmed civilians.
The information about America's stance on civilian casualties may strike some as hypocritical given the harsh criticism by US President Barack Obama's administration against Israel during 2014 Operation Protective Edge. That criticism came despite the fact that the IDF achieved a near 1:1 ratio of civilian to combat casualties almost unheard of in urban combat.
Matt Wanderman contributed to this report.