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.


Iraqi, Jordanian leaders join Egypt at Cairo summit

A handout photo released by the Jordanian Royal Palace on March 24, 2019 shows Jordan's King Abdullah II (L) and Iraq's Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi (R) meeting with Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (C) at the presidential palace in the Egyptian capital Cairo. (AFP)
Updated 10 min 24 sec ago
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Iraqi, Jordanian leaders join Egypt at Cairo summit

  • The statement stressed the importance of combating terrorism in all its forms and confronting those who support it by funding

CAIRO: President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, King Abdullah II of Jordan and Adel Abdul Mahdi, the prime minister of Iraq, held a trilateral summit at the Federal Palace in Cairo at the weekend to discuss cooperation on a number of pressing regional issues.
While discussing energy, industrial development and infrastructure, the three leaders issued a joint statement stressing the importance of working with the rest of the Arab world to restore stability in, and find solutions to, ongoing crises in Palestine, Syria, Libya, and Yemen.
They expressed hope that the upcoming Arab League summit in Tunisia could provide a springboard for action on these conflicts, and that the assembled nations might agree a framework around which to share the burden of reconstructing the countries in question.
The statement also stressed the importance of combating terrorism in all its forms and confronting those who support it by funding, arming or providing safe havens and media platforms to political and religious extremists.
This came in the wake of the tragic attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand by a white supremacist gunman, and the declaration that the extremist group Daesh had relinquished control of its final territorial stronghold, the Syrian village of Baghouz, on Saturday.

Security issues
Amr Hashim Rabie, of Cairo’s Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, said: “The summit came at an important time, especially as it dealt with a number of developmental, economic, political and security issues, most notably in combating terrorism.”
El-Sisi and Mahdi also agreed to restart bilateral committees between Cairo and Baghdad which had not been held since 2002, shortly before the invasion of Iraq by a US-led coalition.
Hossam Al-Omda, a member of Egypt’s Foreign Affairs Committee, agreed with Rabie that the timing of the trilateral summit was significant. He cited the escalating events currently underway in the region, especially in neighboring Syria, with the defeat of Daesh and US government recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, and increasing tensions in Gaza.