AMMAN – The death toll after nearly four years of civil war in Syria has risen to 210,060, nearly half of them civilians, but the real figure is probably much higher, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Saturday, reports Reuters.
The Observatory, which is based in Britain and has a network of activists across Syria, said that 10,664 children and 6,783 women were among the dead.
Peaceful protests against four decades of rule by President Bashar al-Assad’s family in March 2011 degenerated into an armed insurgency following a fierce security crackdown, with the sectarian nature of the conflict echoing across the Middle East.
The Observatory’s toll could not be independently verified by Reuters. The rights group said it had counted 35,827 Syrian rebels killed and 45,385 from Assad’s army.
But the group’s chief, Rami Abdul Rahman, said the true toll on both sides was likely to be much higher — perhaps by more than 85,000.
Abdul Rahman said all the cases included in its 210,000 death count were those it could verify with either name and identification documents, or pictures or videos.
Groups on both sides try to hide their casualties, he said, making the fighter death toll very difficult to gauge.
Syria had a population of some 23 million before the outbreak of the war. Beside the dead and injured, the United Nations says some 3.73 million Syrians have fled the country and officially registered as refugees abroad.