More than 100,000 people have been killed since the start of Syria’s conflict over two years ago, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has said.
The British-based Observatory, which has been tracking the death toll in the conflict through a network of activists in Syria, released the figure yesterday at a time when hopes for a negotiated settlement to end the civil war fade.
It said it had tallied a total of 100,191 deaths over the 27 months of the conflict, but Observatory chief Rami Abdul-Rahman said he expected the real number was higher as neither side was totally forthcoming about its losses.
Of the dead, 36,661 are civilians, the group said. On the government side, 25,407 are members of president Bashar al-Assad’s armed forces, 17,311 are pro-government fighters and 169 are militants from Lebanon’s Hezbollah, who have fought alongside army troops.
Deaths among Mr Assad’s opponents included 13,539 rebels, 2,015 army defectors and 2,518 foreign fighters battling against the regime.
Earlier this month, the United Nations put the number of those killed in the conflict at 93,000 between March 2011 when the crisis started and end of April this year. The government has not released death tolls. The state media released the names of the government’s dead in the first months of the crisis, but then stopped publishing its losses after the opposition became an armed insurgency.
Mr Abdul-Rahman said that the group’s tally of army casualties is based on information from military medical sources, records obtained by the group from state agencies and activists’ own count of military funerals in government areas of the country.