BEIRUT

Middle East

Death toll tops 180,000: Observatory

A woman walks beside graffiti in Maaloula August 21, 2014. REUTERS/Omar Sanadiki

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:

Civilians: 89,286

Defectors from the military: 2,363

Jihadists from various groups: 16,855

Regular army: 40,438

Regime-allied paramilitary groups: 25,927

Hezbollah: 561

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.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on August 22, 2014, on page 8.

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Summary

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 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.

The Observatory added that the figures did not include several other groups of people, namely:Missing persons: 20,000


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