BEIRUT: The death toll from Syria’s civil war has topped 180,000 people and could be as high as a quarter-million, a leading anti-regime group of activists said Thursday.
The Observatory issued its latest findings on the one-year anniversary of a chemical weapons attack in the Ghouta suburbs of Damascus, which is believed to have killed hundreds of people, and finally prompted the Syrian regime to destroy its chemical weapons stockpiles or face a U.S. military strike. It said that at least 70,000 people have been killed since the chemical attack.
The group, which relies on a network of sources inside the country for its reports, said that while it had documented 180,215 deaths, it believed the actual figure was higher by at least 70,000, due to the “extreme secrecy” on the part of various sides in the conflict, meaning more than a quarter-million lives lost.
It broke down the grim statistics as follows:
Defectors from the military: 2,363
Jihadists from various groups: 16,855
Regular army: 40,438
Regime-allied paramilitary groups: 25,927
Regime-allied Shiite fighters: 1,854
Unidentified casualties: 2,931
The Observatory added that the figures did not include several other groups of people, namely:Missing persons: 20,000
Regime-held detainees: 7,000
Kidnapping victims: 2,000
Missing jihadist and Kurdish fighters: 1,500
ISIS-held detainees: 4,000.