More than 300,000 civilians were killed in one decade in Syria, the “highest estimate yet of conflict-related deaths” in a civil war that started in 2011, according to the United Nations.
The figure represents 83 civilian deaths, including nine women and 18 children, every day for 10 years to 2021, according to an extensive report released by the UN Human Rights Council.
“The conflict-related casualty figures in the report are not simply a set of abstract numbers but represent individual human beings,” said Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
“The impact of the killing of each of these 306,887 civilians would have had a profound, reverberating impact on the family and community to which they belonged.”
The report cites 143,350 civilian deaths that were individually documented by various sources with detailed information that included the deceased’s full names, dates and location of death.
The UN report doesn’t include people killed in the war whose families who did not notify the authorities, nor does it include the deaths of soldiers and fighters but their numbers are believed to be in the tens of thousands.
‘Direct result of war’
Syria’s civil war began during the Arab Spring in 2011 as a peaceful uprising against the country’s President, Bashar al-Assad.
Events quickly escalated, shattering the lives of millions, destroying cities, straining global politics, and spurring diplomatic efforts that continued to be constantly questioned.
Experts say the Syrian conflict wasn’t just one of the world’s bloodiest, it was also among the most complex.
Bachelet said the death of 306,887 civilians represents “a staggering 1.5% of the total population,” and the figure triggers serious concerns as to “the failure of the parties to the conflict to respect international humanitarian law norms on the protection of civilians.”
“This analysis will also give a clearer sense of the severity and the scale of the conflict,” Bachelet said.
“Let me be clear, these are the people killed as a direct result of war operations. This does not include the many, many more civilians who died due to the loss of access to healthcare, to food, to clean water and other essential human rights, which remain to be assessed.”