May records ‘lowest monthly civilian toll’ in Syria war
Fewer civilians died in May than in any other month of Syria’s seven-year war, a monitor said on Friday, with less than 250 civilians killed across the country.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 244 civilians were killed last month, including 58 children and 33 women. It was the “lowest monthly death toll for civilians since the start of the Syrian revolution” in 2011, the Britain-based monitor said.
It comes after government troops secured a string of areas around Damascus, including the former rebel bastion of Eastern Ghouta in April as well as several towns to the capital’s northeast and south.
Those wins came with fierce bombing campaigns over several months that left hundreds dead and even more wounded, but ultimately ended in regime victory. War fronts were relatively quiet in May, with the regime focused on ousting the Islamic State (IS) group from a pocket of southern Damascus.
But government bombardment was still behind the highest proportion of casualties, according to the Observatory. Regime shelling and air strikes killed 77 civilians in May, it said, while 19 had died in air raids by regime ally Russia.