Syria death toll tops 380,000 in almost 9-year war, says monitor

A handout picture released by the official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) on January 2, 2020 shows Syrian government forces firing at positions of rebel fighters in the countryside of Maaret al-Numan. (AFP)
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Updated 05 January 2020

Syria death toll tops 380,000 in almost 9-year war, says monitor

  • 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

BEIRUT: Almost nine years of civil war in Syria has left more than 380,000 people dead including over 115,000 civilians, a war monitor said in a new toll on Saturday.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which has a network of sources across the country, said they included around 22,000 children and more than 13,000 women.
The conflict flared after unprecedented anti-government protests in the southern city of Daraa on March 15, 2011.
Demonstrations spread across Syria and were brutally suppressed by the regime, triggering a multi-front armed conflict that has drawn in rebels and foreign powers.
The conflict has displaced or sent into exile around 13 million Syrians, causing billions of dollars’ worth of destruction.
The Britain-based Observatory’s last casualty toll on the Syrian conflict, issued in March last year, stood at more than 370,000 dead.
The latest toll included more than 128,000 Syrian and non-Syrian pro-regime fighters.
More than half of those were Syrian soldiers, while 1,682 were from the Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah whose members have been fighting in Syria since 2013.
The war has also taken the lives of more than 69,000 opposition rebels and Kurdish-led fighters.
It has killed more than 67,000 militants, mainly from Daesh and Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS), a group dominated by Syria’s former Al-Qaeda affiliate.

NUMBER

13m - Syrians have been displaced or sent into exile due to the conflict that has caused billions of dollars’ worth of destruction.

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 support of powerful allies Russia and Iran, Syria’s Bashar Assad has inched his way back in recent years to controlling almost two-thirds of the country.
That comes after a string of victories against fighters and rebels since 2015, but also his forces being deployed to parts of the northeast of the country under a deal to halt a Turkish cross-border operation last year.
Several parts of the country, however, remain beyond the reach of the Damascus government.
They include the last major opposition bastion of Idlib, a region of some 3 million people that is ruled by the rebels of HTS.
An escalation in violence there in recent weeks has caused 284,000 people to flee their homes, according to the UN.
In the northeast, Turkish troops and their proxies control a strip of land along the border after seizing it from Kurdish fighters earlier this year.
Kurdish-led forces control the Far East Syria, where US troops have been deployed near major oil fields.
Syria’s conflict is estimated to have set its economy back three decades, destroying infrastructure and paralyzing the production of electricity and oil.

Related


Iranian Guard holds anti-warship ballistic missile drill

Updated 16 January 2021

Iranian Guard holds anti-warship ballistic missile drill

  • Footage showed two missiles smash into a target that Iranian state television described as “hypothetical hostile enemy ships”
  • In recent weeks, Iran has increased its military drills as the country tries to pressure President-elect Joe Biden over the nuclear accord

TEHRAN, Iran: Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard conducted a drill Saturday launching anti-warship ballistic missiles at a simulated target in the Indian Ocean, state television reported, amid heightened tensions over Tehran’s nuclear program and a US pressure campaign against the Islamic Republic.
Footage showed two missiles smash into a target that Iranian state television described as “hypothetical hostile enemy ships” at a distance of 1,800 kilometers (1,120 miles). The report did not specify the type of missiles used.
In the first phase of the drill Friday, the Guard’s aerospace division launched surface-to-surface ballistic missiles and drones against “hypothetical enemy bases.” Iranian state television described the drill as taking place in the country’s vast central desert, the latest in a series of snap exercises called amid the escalating tensions over its nuclear program. Footage also showed four unmanned, triangle-shaped drones flying in a tight formation, smashing into targets and exploding.
Tensions between Washington and Tehran have increased amid a series of incidents stemming from President Donald Trump’s unilateral withdrawal from Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers. Amid Trump’s final days as president, Tehran has recently seized a South Korean oil tanker and begun enriching uranium closer to weapons-grade levels, while the US has sent B-52 bombers, the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier and a nuclear submarine into the region.
In recent weeks, Iran has increased its military drills as the country tries to pressure President-elect Joe Biden over the nuclear accord, which he has said America could reenter.
Iran fired cruise missiles Thursday as part of a naval drill in the Gulf of Oman, state media reported, under surveillance of what appeared to be a US nuclear submarine. Iran’s navy did not identify the submarine at the time, but on Saturday, a news website affiliated with state television said the vessel was American. Helicopter footage of the exercise released Thursday by Iran’s navy showed what resembled an Ohio-class guided-missile submarine, the USS Georgia, which the US Navy last month said had been sent to the Arabian Gulf.
Iran has missile capability of up to 2,000 kilometers (1,250 miles), far enough to reach archenemy Israel and US military bases in the region. Last January, after the US killed a top Iranian general in Baghdad, Tehran retaliated by firing a barrage of ballistic missiles at two Iraqi bases housing US troops, resulting in brain concussion injuries to dozens of them.
Trump in 2018 unilaterally withdrew the US from Iran’s nuclear deal, in which Tehran had agreed to limit its uranium enrichment in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions. Trump cited Iran’s ballistic missile program among other issues in withdrawing from the accord.
When the US then increased sanctions, Iran gradually and publicly abandoned the deal’s limits on its nuclear development.