More than 76,000 people died in Syria’s civil war in 2014, including more than 3,500 children, a monitoring group reported Thursday. The figures would make last year the deadliest in Syria since the conflict began in March 2011.
The figures from the monitoring group, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, put the total number of dead in the conflict as of Wednesday at 206,603.
The group, based in Britain, uses a network of contacts inside Syria to tally deaths, and its figures cannot be independently corroborated. The United Nations, which once regularly documented the numbers of dead and wounded in Syria, discontinued the practice.
But the United Nations said in December that more than 200,000 people had been killed in the conflict, which began as an uprising against President Bashar Assad and has since evolved into a civil war that has destabilized the Middle East.
Most Read Nation & World Stories
- You should probably replace some of your fabric face masks
- Honestie Hodges, whose mistreatment by police led to changes, dies of COVID. She was 14.
- Trump pardons Flynn despite guilty plea in Russia probe
- Secret Hasidic wedding in Brooklyn draws thousands of guests, $15K fine
- A Trump-boosting sheriff earned White House visits. Now she's charged with theft.
The Syrian Observatory’s 2014 figures include 17,790 civilians, among them 3,501 children.
The rest include Syrian soldiers and allied militia members, rebel fighters and members of jihadist militant organizations that have joined the fighting.
The Syrian Observatory’s total of 76,021 deaths for 2014 compared with its total of 73,447 in 2013, 49,294 in 2012 and 7,841 in 2011.
The number of wounded in the Syria conflict has been even harder to determine, partly because of restricted access to combat zones and the collapse of the country’s public-health system.
Last month, the World Health Organization’s Syria representative, Elizabeth Hoff, said the cumulative number of wounded was approximately 1 million.
Hoff made the estimate as part of a U.N. annual appeal for funding at a donors conference in Berlin. The organization said it was seeking $8.4 billion in 2015 to help nearly 18 million victims of Syria’s conflict, mostly displaced civilians and refugees.
The 2014 casualty figures were issued as Syria’s state-run news agency reported that Assad, in a New Year’s Eve morale-boosting gesture, had visited soldiers on the front lines in Jobar, an embattled suburb of Damascus. Images posted on the news agency’s website showed Assad minus his signature mustache, greeting his troops.
Anti-government activists said that they doubted that Assad had ventured into Jobar, which they said was contested or rebel-controlled, and that the images shown by the state media appeared to be from Zablatani, a government-held area nearby.