UN says more than 191,000 killed in Syria’s civil war

United Nations top human rights official criticizes international ‘paralysis’ over fighting in Syria in wake of other conflicts

A man reacts amid debris after what activists said were explosive barrels thrown by forces loyal to Syria's President Assad in Al-Shaar neighbourhood of Aleppo

A man reacts amid debris after what activists said were explosive barrels thrown by forces loyal to Syria’s President Assad in Al-Shaar neighbourhood of Aleppo.

GENEVA — The death toll from three years of Syria‘s civil war has risen to more than 191,000 people, the United Nations reported Friday.

The figure, covering the period from March 2011 to April 2014, is the first issued by the U.N.’s human rights office since July 2013, when it documented more than 100,000 killed.

The high death toll is a reflection of the brutality of Syria’s conflict, which has transformed into a complex, multi-layered war where various factions fight against each other.

It also reflects the recent surge in deadly attacks by the al-Qaida-breakaway Islamic State group targeting rival militant groups, mainstream Western-backed Syrian rebels and Kurdish militiamen in northern Syria as it seeks to eliminate opponents and consolidate its hold on territory and resources.

Navi Pillay, the U.N.’s top human rights official who oversees the Geneva-based office, said the new figures are so much higher because they include additional killings from earlier periods, as well as deaths since the last report. The exact figure of confirmed deaths is 191,369, Pillay said.

“As the report explains, tragically it is probably an underestimate of the real total number of people killed during the first three years of this murderous conflict,” she said.

Men comprised 85 per cent of the victims, women more than 9 per cent, while the sex was unknown in the remaining cases.

The records show at least 8,800 child victims, although the age of most victims is unknown.

The figures are based on information from the Syrian Center for Statistics and Research, the Syrian Network for Human Rights, the Violations Documentation Center, the Syrian government and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Pillay criticized the world’s “paralysis” over the fighting in Syria, which “has dropped off the international radar” in the face of so many other armed conflicts around the world. Her spokesman, Rupert Colville, told reporters she was referring mainly to the standoff on the U.N. Security Council.

Russia has been one of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s main allies and has used its veto power four times at the 15-nation Security Council to prevent international sanctions on Syria.

In January, Pillay’s office said it had stopped updating the death toll, blaming the organization’s lack of access on the ground in Syria and its inability to verify source material. Colville said the new figures were released now because the United Nations improved its confidence in the way the analysis is conducted.

On Thursday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the number of deaths has reached 180,000.


UN says more than 191,000 killed in Syria’s civil war

  1. As a person who lived in Syria and worked for the UN for many years, I have to admit the west has truly screwed things up.

    Starting with – yet in no particular order – the “Arab Spring” fairly tale promoted by western media, the de-throning of Kadaffi and the resulting chaos in Libya, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, al-Qaida and more.

    Assad is not a nice guy, but that country was reasonably well run, with kids in schools, food for everyone and medical and dental for everyone. When the civil war started everyone jumped on the band wagon and wanted Assad killed and/or tried for war crimes.

    Unfortunately the people who tried to take over the country were even worse than he was/is.

    Now the Syrian dictator has managed to hang on against all odds and is still fighting.

    As well, the US of A and its followers now need the permission of Assad to over fly his country to attack the newest and greatest threat – ISIS. They need this permission because Assad had a very real and very credible air defense capability.

    Seems to me that the west should not have supported the people who wanted to over throw Assad. It would not have prevented massive numbers of dead but it definitely would have reduced that number just the same. And as recently briefed to the US Prez while he was golfing – it would appear that the west just might need Assad if they are to successfully destroy ISIS.

    The numbers of dead in the Syrian civil war are high – and Assad has his finger in that pie – but the opposition has been just as guilty in creating those huge numbers. Funny how that rarely seems to make the media. It is not all the fault of Assad as many media outlets would have you think.

    In the end it was far more peaceful under the Assad regime and those planning to replace him were/are little better than ISIS.

    Time for us to either crap or get off the pot.

    Leave that world to itself and deal with the winning faction, or go in and clean house – drop the gloves and go it like we did to Germany in WWII.

    Neither will happen and the average entitled Canuck who lives in a bubble will continue to read articles like this and actually believe there is a potential for negotiated peace – when both sides doing the fighting know for a fact, it is a fight to the last man/woman or child.

    Assad wins and things will get rebuilt and peace will eventually break out in Syria. The opposition wins, there will be continued mass slaughter of people – it will be convert or be shot and buried in a mass grave.

    Remember this prediction in ten years. And that time line is actually just around the corner.

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