Syria death toll more than 370,000 in 8 years of war: monitor

21,000 children are among those who died. (File/AFP)
Updated 18 March 2019
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Syria death toll more than 370,000 in 8 years of war: monitor

  • More than 21,000 children and 13,000 women were among the dead
  • 112,000 were civilians

BEIRUT: Eight years of war in Syria have left more than 370,000 people dead including 112,000 civilians, a monitor said Friday.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which has a network of sources across the country, said more than 21,000 children and 13,000 women were among the dead.
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 foreign powers and militant groups.
The Britain-based Observatory's last casualty toll on the Syrian conflict, issued in September, stood at more than 360,000 dead.
Over 125,000 Syrian government soldiers and pro-regime fighters figured in the latest toll, the monitoring group said.
It said other fighters, including rebels and Kurds, accounted for 67,000 of those killed.
Almost 66,000 were militants, mainly from the Daesh group and Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), dominated by Al-Qaeda's former affiliate in Syria.
The devastating conflict has displaced or sent into exile around 13 million Syrians, causing billions of dollars-worth of destruction.
With the support of powerful allies Russia and Iran, President Bashar al-Assad has won his war for political survival but his country is fractured and cash-strapped.
Having reversed rebel gains with a massive Russian intervention, Assad now controls almost two-thirds of Syria's territory.
But key areas remain beyond regime control, including a swathe of the oil-rich northeast held by Kurdish-led fighters.
Washington backs the Syrian Democratic Forces, which are spearheading an anti-Daesh campaign, which is drawing to a close near the Iraqi border.
Idlib in northwestern Syria, held by HTS, is protected by a ceasefire deal between Ankara and Moscow which has seen Turkish troops deployed to the area.
Syria's conflict is estimated to have set its economy back three decades, destroying infrastructure and paralysing the production of electricity and oil.
Assad, however, has regained control of key commercial arteries and started a tentative comeback on the Arab diplomatic scene.
Several countries have called for Syria to be reintegrated into the Arab League, from which it was suspended as the death toll from the uprising mounted in 2011.


Security tops agenda as Iraqi PM visits Egypt in first foreign trip

Updated 23 March 2019
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Security tops agenda as Iraqi PM visits Egypt in first foreign trip

  • After meeting Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, Abdul Mahdi highlighted “the importance of drying up the sources of terrorism”
  • The visit to Egypt is Abdul Mahdi’s first trip abroad since taking office in October

CAIRO: Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi sought Egypt’s support for efforts to tackle extremist militants in the region during a visit to Cairo on Saturday, his first trip abroad since taking office in October.
After meeting Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, Abdul Mahdi highlighted “the importance of drying up the sources of terrorism” and said “cooperation between Egypt and Iraq will be essential for this matter,” according to an official statement.
His comments came as US-backed forces said they had captured Daesh’s last shred of territory in eastern Syria at Baghouz, ending its territorial rule over a self-proclaimed caliphate straddling Syria and Iraq after years of fighting.
Though the defeat ends the group’s grip over the extremist quasi-state that it declared in 2014, it remains a threat.
Some Daesh fighters still hold out in Syria’s remote central desert and in Iraqi cities they have slipped into the shadows, staging sudden shootings or kidnappings and awaiting a chance to rise again.
The United States thinks the group’s leader, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, is in Iraq.
Defeating militants in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula and restoring security after years of unrest has been a key promise of El-Sisi, the general-turned-president who came to power a year after the military overthrew Islamist President Mohammed Mursi in 2013.
Egypt has fought an insurgency waged by a Daesh affiliate in North Sinai since 2013. Hundreds of members of the security forces have been killed.