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

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.


Turkey detains Kurdish opposition members over terrorism links

Updated 12 min 12 sec ago

Turkey detains Kurdish opposition members over terrorism links

ISTANBUL: Turkish authorities detained 19 people including two Kurdish deputy mayors in the northeastern province of Kars as part of a terrorism related operation, state-owned Anadolu news agency said on Thursday.
The detainees included local party heads from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and municipality council members in the province, Anadolu said.
The authorities detained suspects as they were determined to have aided Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) members, attended meetings and operated under their orders, Anadolu said.
Last week, the HDP mayor of Kars along with dozens others were detained over violent protests in 2014 against an attack on the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani.
President Tayyip Erdogan’s government accuses the HDP of having links to the PKK militant group, leading to prosecutions of thousands of its members and some leaders. The HDP denies such links.
Since March 2019 local elections, mayors have been replaced by trustees in more than half of the roughly 65 municipalities won by the HDP. Ankara has appointed governors and other local authorities as trustees in those districts.
The former co-leaders of the HDP have both been jailed since 2016 on terrorism charges, with several other prominent party members accused of supporting terrorism over what the government says are links to the PKK.