Syria death toll exceeds 210,000, says human rights group
The death toll after nearly four years of civil war in Syria has risen to 210,060 and the real figure is probably much higher, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Saturday.
The Observatory, which is based in Britain and has a network of activists across Syria, said that 10,664 children and 6,783 women were among the dead.
It estimated that half of the total killed were civilians.
Peaceful protests against four decades of rule by president Bashar al-Assad’s family in March 2011 degenerated into an armed insurgency following a fierce security crackdown.
The rights group said it had counted 35,827 Syrian rebels and 45,385 Syrian army soldiers killed.
Among the Observatory’s documented deaths were 24,989 foreign jihadist fighters, including radical Sunni rebel groups such as al-Qaeda offshoot Nusra Front and Islamic State.
The death toll was likely to be much higher, perhaps by more than 85,000, said the group’s chief, Rami Abdul Rahman. He said the total number of dead fighters is hard to gauge, because both sides try to hide their casualties.
Mr Abdul Rahman said all the cases included in its count were those it could verify with either name and identification documents, or pictures or videos.
Syria had a population of some 23 million before the outbreak of the war. Beside the dead and injured, the United Nations says some 3.73 million Syrians have fled the country and officially registered as refugees abroad.
The rights group also said the war had left 1.5 million Syrians with some type of injury and permanent disability.