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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

3/14/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

More than a third of all casualties were unarmed civilians

Over 146,000 people, more than a third of them civilians, have been killed in Syria's civil war. The conflict enters its fourth year this month - and there is no end in sight.

The Observatory said it counted nearly 36,000 rebel fatalities, including fighters from the Nusra Front, al Qaeda's affiliate in Syria, and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, an al Qaeda splinter group which includes many foreign fighters.

The Observatory said it counted nearly 36,000 rebel fatalities, including fighters from the Nusra Front, al Qaeda's affiliate in Syria, and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, an al Qaeda splinter group which includes many foreign fighters.

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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

3/14/2014 (1 year ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: Syria, civil war, death toll


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The last United Nations figures, released in July of last year, put the death toll at around least 100,000. The United Nations said earlier this year it would stop updating the toll as conditions on the ground made it impossible to make accurate estimates.

The death toll of 146,065 was published by the U.K.-based he Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an anti-government group that uses a network of sources across Syria to document the violence there.

Help the hungry children of Syria 

The conflict began in March of 2011 as peaceful street protests against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. These demonstrations quickly transformed into an armed insurgency after a fierce security crackdown, descending into a civil war with sectarian dimensions.

Three years on, neighboring nations have been pulled in, contributing fighters, weapons, financing and technical assistance to the rival sides.

Russia, Iran and the Lebanese militia Hezbollah back the government, while Western powers, along with Gulf States and Turkey, support various factions among the rebels. The Syrian civil war has taken a horrific toll on the civilian population. At 2.5 million, spread between Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Turkey, there are now as many Syrian refugees as those exiled from Afghanistan's wars in the over a three decade period. It's a grim benchmark and potent reminder that it takes decades for the wounds of war to heal.

The Observatory said it counted nearly 36,000 rebel fatalities, including fighters from the Nusra Front, al Qaeda's affiliate in Syria, and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, an al Qaeda splinter group which includes many foreign fighters.

More than 56,000 of those killed were from pro-Assad forces, including 332 from the Lebanese Shi'ite Muslim group Hezbollah and 459 Shi'ite fighters from other countries.

The true toll on both sides is in all probability, much higher - by perhaps more than 60,000.

Both sides try to hide their casualties, the observatory said, making fighter death tolls very difficult to gauge.

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