Up to 55,000 people have died in Syria in 2015, according to monitoring groups assessing the death toll from the country’s conflict at the hands of the regime, Isis, rebel groups, Russia and the international coalition.
It takes the total number of deaths since the start of the conflict in 2011 up to more than 260,000, including more than 13,000 civilians this year alone.
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the number killed is lower than the 76,000 in 2014, and again was made up mainly of fighters on the various sides.
Of the civilians killed, 2,574 were children under the age of 18 and a further 1,944 were women. More than 17,600 regime fighters died this year, compared to 7,800 opposition rebels and 16,000 Isis and Nusra Front jihadists.
In a separate report released today, the Syrian Network for Human Rights – a pro-opposition monitoring group – said it believed more than 16,000 civilians had been killed in Syria this year, more than 12,000 at the hands of the Assad regime.
It claimed five per cent of all civilian deaths were the result of the Russian air strikes which began on 30 September. The SNHR said Russian bombs have killed 199 children in that period – more than the 149 children Isis has killed in the whole of year.
Calculating the human cost of the Syrian civil war is incredibly challenging, given the lack of independent monitoring and the failure of the regime to provide any figures on casualties.
The London-based Observatory said it has now documented 260,758 deaths since the Syrian civil war began in March 2011, of which more than 76,000 were civilians.