Syria death toll 'hits 150,344'
Beirut, April 2, 2014
The death toll in Syria's three-year conflict has exceeded 150,000, an activist group said yesterday as fighting raged across the country, including an attack in the north that killed 31 people including nine children.
Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said it has documented 150,344 deaths in the conflict that started in March 2011. The figure includes civilians, rebels and members of the Syrian military, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
It also includes militiamen fighting alongside President Bashar Assad's forces and foreign fighters battling for Assad's removal on the rebels' side.
The Observatory bases its tally on the information the group receives from a network of informants on the ground.
In January, the UN said it had stopped updating its own tally of the Syrian dead because it can no longer verify the sources of information that led to its last count of at least 100,000 in late July.
Of the 150,344 people who died in the conflict, the majority - or 75,487 - were civilians, including 7,985 children and 5,266 women, the Observatory said. The number also includes 26,561 rebel fighters and 35,601 Syrian soldiers as well as 22,879 Assad-loyal fighters and 11,220 foreign fighters battling on the opposition side.
Yesterday's attack in the northern town of Maaret Al Artiq came in the form of a barrel bombing - bombardment with containers stuffed with explosives rolled out of military helicopters, the Observatory said.
In Turkey, Syria's main opposition bloc said its president, Ahmad Al Jarba, made a rare visit to Syria yesterday, meeting rebels fighting Assad's troops in the coastal province of Latakia - including the recently captured Christian-Armenian town of Kassab.
Al Jarba also toured Latakia's rebel-held mountainous areas of Jabal Al Turkomen and Jabal Al Akrad, meeting rebel commanders to assess the "latest plans and needs for the battle on the coast," the Western-backed Syrian National Coalition said.
The Observatory said fighting between Assad's loyalists and the rebels was concentrated in several opposition-held suburbs of Damascus, and the northern province of Aleppo. - TradeArabia News Service