Syria death toll tops 380,000 in virtually war: Monitor

Syria death toll tops 380,000 in virtually war: Monitor

Beirut: Almost nine years of civil war in Syria has left over 380,000 people dead including over 115,000 civilians, a war monitor said in a new toll Saturday.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which has a network of resources across the nation, said they comprised around 22,000 children and more than 13,000 women.

The conflict has displaced or sent around 13 million Syrians into exile, causing billions of dollars-worth of destruction.

The Britain-based Observatory’s final casualty toll on the Syrian battle, issued in March last year, stood at more than 370,000 dead.

The latest toll included over 128,000 Syrian and non-Syrian pro-regime fighters.

More than half of those were Syrian soldiers, while 1,682 were out of the Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah whose members were fighting in Syria since 2013.

The war has also taken the lives of over 69,000 opposition, Islamist, and Kurdish-led fighters.

It has killed more than 67,000 jihadists, largely from the Islamic State group and Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), a group dominated by Syria’s former Al-Qaeda affiliate.

The total death toll does not include some 88,000 people who died of torture in regime jails, or thousands missing after being abducted by all sides in the conflict.

With the aid of powerful allies Russia and Iran, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has inched his way back in recent years to controlling almost two-thirds of the nation.

That comes after a series of successes against rebels and jihadists because 2015, but also his forces being deployed to regions of the northeast of the country under a deal to halt a Turkish cross-border operation last year.

Areas of the country, however, remain beyond the range of the Damascus government.

They include the last major opposition bastion of Idlib, a region of some three million people that is ruled by the jihadists of HTS.

An escalation in violence there in recent weeks has caused 284,000 people to flee their homes, according to the United Nations.

In the northeast, Turkish troops and their proxies command a strip of land across the boundary after seizing it from Kurdish fighters earlier this year.

Kurdish-led forces control the far east Syria, where US troops are deployed near major oil fields.

Syria’s conflict is estimated to have set its economy back three decades, paralysing the production of oil and electricity and destroying infrastructure.

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