UN: 60,000 killed in Syria war

Updated 03 January 2013
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UN: 60,000 killed in Syria war

AMMAN: More than 60,000 people have died in the Syrian uprising and civil war, the UN said yesterday, dramatically raising the death toll in a struggle that shows no sign of ending.
Dozens were killed in a Damascus suburb when a government air strike turned a petrol station into an inferno, incinerating drivers who had rushed there for a rare chance to fill their tanks, activists told Reuters.
"I counted at least 30 bodies. They were either burnt or dismembered," said Abu Saeed, an activist who arrived at the area an hour after the raid occurred at 1100 GMT in Muleiha, a suburb on the eastern edge of the capital.
UN Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay said in Geneva that researchers cross-referencing seven sources over five months of analysis had listed 59,648 people killed in Syria between March 15, 2011 and Nov. 30, 2012.
"The number of casualties is much higher than we expected and is truly shocking," she said.
"Given that there has been no let-up in the conflict since the end of November, we can assume that more than 60,000 people have been killed by the beginning of 2013."
The activists said rockets were fired from the base at the petrol station and a nearby residential area after the air raid.
Video footage taken by activists showed the body of a man in a helmet still perched on a motorcycle amid flames engulfing the scene.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said a separate air strike killed 12 members of a family, most of them children, in Moadamiyeh, a southwestern area near the center of Damascus.
In the north, fighters attacked the Afis military airport near Taftanaz air base, which is near the main north-south highway linking Damascus to Aleppo, the Observatory said.


Assad regime ‘using Daesh to justify atrocities’

Updated 20 April 2018
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Assad regime ‘using Daesh to justify atrocities’

  • Syrian government claims Daesh fighters killed at least 25 regime troops in a surprise attack near the eastern Syrian town of Mayadeen
  • Opposition leader says the regime forces’ fight against Daesh as a sham and said the terror group was a gun for hire

JEDDAH: Bashar Assad’s forces are using the threat of Daesh to justify brutal acts against civilians, Syrian opposition spokesman Yahya Al-Aridi said.

His remarks on Thursday came as Daesh fighters killed at least 25 regime troops in a surprise attack near the eastern Syrian town of Mayadeen, surrendered by the terror group six months ago.

At least 13 insurgents were killed in the raid, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Daesh was continuing its advance on the town from the Badia desert, observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman said.

The attack was the largest since the terror group was expelled from the town in October 2017, he added.

However, the opposition spokesman described the regime forces’ fight against Daesh as a sham and said the terror group was a gun for hire.

“As for those so-called 25 regime soldiers, the regime is abducting people, training them on how to pull the trigger and sending them to die.

“They are being used to send a message that the regime is still fighting terrorism,” Al-Aridi told Arab News.

He claimed that Mayadeen “still holds people who could be classified as Daesh, and the regime exploits that any time it wants.”

Regime airstrikes and artillery fire also pounded Daesh-occupied areas in the south of Damascus on Thursday. Warplanes targeted “the dens of terrorists from Al-Nusra Front and Daesh in Hajjar Al-Aswad,” a southern district of the capital, pro-Assad media said.

Iraq’s air force also carried out “deadly” airstrikes on Daesh positions inside Syria, Prime Minister Haider Abadi’s office said.

Meanwhile, the US warned that the Assad regime could still carry out limited chemical attacks despite last week’s coalition strikes. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, director of the US military’s Joint Staff, said the regime retained a “residual” chemical capability at sites across the country.

Separately, the regime took control of Dumayr, a town northeast of Damascus, after rebels evacuated to north Syria.