The US military killed 12 civilians and injured five more in 2021, all in Afghanistan, according to a Pentagon report.

The Department of Defense "assesses that there were approximately 12 civilians killed and approximately five civilians injured during 2021 as a result of US military operations," the report said.

The Pentagon also reassessed its counts from the years 2018 to 2020, recognising ten more dead and 18 wounded, all in Syria.

The US congress has required a report be produced annually since 2018, and part of which is classified but all 12 civilian deaths occurred in Afghanistan in 2021, according to the public part of the report.

The Pentagon has already acknowledged its responsibility for the deaths of ten members of the same family, including seven children, during the US withdrawal from Afghanistan at the end of August 2021.

The public document specifies that a civilian was killed in a US strike on 8 January in Heart in the west, another on 11 August in Kandahar in the south, and two civilians were also wounded on 18 January in the same city.

In addition, the US military admitted having wounded three civilians on 1 January in a strike in Qunyo Barrow in Somalia.

NGOs regularly publish much higher assessments of deaths and injuries from US strikes in conflict zones.

In January, the US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin urged the military to do more to avoid civilian casualties in airstrikes, after several deadly errors tarnished the reputation of the military.

Protecting civilians is a "strategic and moral imperative," he said.