Casualties of the Syrian Civil War

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Doctors and medical staff treating injured rebel fighters and civilians in Aleppo

Estimates of deaths in the Syrian War, per opposition activist groups, vary between 115,020[1][2] and 171,510.[3] On 24 July 2013, the United Nations put out an estimate of over 100,000 that had died in the war.[4]

UNICEF reported that over 500 children had been killed by early February 2012.[5][6] Another 400 children have been reportedly arrested and tortured in Syrian prisons.[7][8] Both claims have been contested by the Syrian government.[9] Additionally, over 600 detainees and political prisoners have died under torture.[10] By mid-July 2014, the opposition activist group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported the number of children killed in the conflict had risen to 9,092, while at the same time 5,873 women were also killed.[3] According to the UN, 6,561 children were killed by mid-June 2013.[11] The Oxford Research Group said that a total of 11,420 children had been killed in the conflict by late November 2013.[12]

Overall deaths[edit]

Total deaths over the course of the conflict in Syria (18 March 2011 – 18 October 2013)
Weekly deaths over the course of the conflict in Syria (18 March 2011 – 18 October 2013)

The number of fatalities in the conflict, according to the Syrian opposition website Syrian Martyrs, is 110,239, updated to 30 June 2014.[13] The number includes 21,162 rebels, including 326 foreign fighters, but does not include members of the government security forces or pro-government foreign combatants who have died.[14] 856 foreign civilians who have died in the conflict are also included in the toll, most of them, 684, being Palestinians.[15] The Syrian Martyrs number is significantly higher than the ones presented by other organisations, including the UN, one reason being they record deaths even when no name is given for the reportedly killed individual.[16]

Governorate Number of deaths
Latakia 1,088
Rif Dimashq 26,160
Homs 14,813
Hama 7,412
Al-Hasakah 868
Daraa 9,600
Aleppo 21,525
Deir ez-Zor 6,120
Damascus 8,199
Tartus 536
Quneitra 707
Idlib 11,616
As-Suwayda 78
Ar-Raqqah 1,519
Total 110,239[13]

Other estimates range from 115,020 to 171,510. Except for the SNHR figure, which excludes pro-government and ISIS fighters,[17] all of the following totals include civilians, rebels and security forces:

Source Casualties Time period
Next Century Foundation 108,871 killed[18] 1 July 2012 – 31 May 2014
Syrian Network for Human Rights 133,586 killed[19] 15 March 2011 – 2 July 2014
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights 171,509 killed[3] 15 March 2011 – 8 July 2014
Center for Documentation of Violations 115,022 killed[1][2] 15 March 2011 – 10 July 2014

Al Jazeera journalist Nir Rosen reported that many of the deaths reported daily by activists are in fact armed insurgents falsely presented as civilian deaths, but confirmed that real civilian deaths do occur on a regular basis.[20] A number of Middle East political analysts, including those from the Lebanese Al Akhbar newspaper, have also urged caution.[21][22][23]

This was later confirmed when in late May 2012, Rami Abdulrahman of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which is one of the opposition-affiliated groups counting the number of those killed in the uprising, stated that civilians who had taken up arms during the conflict were being counted under the category of "civilians".[24][25][26]

In May 2013, SOHR stated that at least 41,000 of those killed during the conflict were Alawites.[27]

The Next Century Foundation offer an alternative analysis of casualty figures. Their calculations are made by using figures from the Center for Documentation of Violations in Syria (VDC), Syrian Shuhada (Syrian Martyrs), Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Local Coordination Committees of Syria (LCC) and Damascus Centre for Human Rights from June 2012 to the present. Figures for civilian, rebel and government casualties are calculated separately and added together for an overall total.[28]

Combatant deaths[edit]

Government forces[edit]

Pro-government combatants Casualties
Syrian military and police 30,000[29]–39,036[3] killed
Shabiha and National Defense Force 24,655 killed[3]
Lebanese Hezbollah 509 killed[3]
Other non-Syrian Shiite and Palestinian militiamen 1,603 killed[3]

The Syrian Army fatalities figure also includes at least 37 members of the Palestinian PLA.[30]

The non-Syrian Shiite militiamen fatalities figure includes: 770+ Iraqi Shia militiamen,[31] 67 Iranian IRGC soldiers,[32][33] at least 24 Afghans[34] and one member of the Lebanese Amal Movement.[35]

Of the Palestinian militia deaths, at least 20 were PFLP–GC members.[36][37][38][39][40]

Except one death (August 2011),[41] all of the Hezbollah fatalities have occurred since September 2012.[42]

In early December 2013, rebels claimed that a pro-government Russian fighter was killed in fighting in Aleppo.[43]

In addition, 1,000 civilian government officials have also been killed.[44]

Opposition forces[edit]

Due to the opposition's policy of counting rebel fighters that were not defectors as civilians[24][25][26][45] a comprehensive number of rebels killed in the conflict, thus far, has not been ascertained. In late November 2012, the opposition activist group SOHR estimated that at least 10,000 rebels had been killed, but noted the possibility of the figure being higher because the rebels, like the government, were lying about how many of their forces had died to make it look like they were winning.[46] In March 2013, SOHR stated that the actual number of killed rebels and government forces could be double the number they were already able to document.[47]

The following tables provide examples of news reports which identify rebel casualties. The first table shows reports of rebel deaths for the period up to 8 July 2014, and those not included in SOHR's daily death tolls before and after 8 July 2014. The second table shows day-by-day reports of rebel deaths by SOHR after 8 July 2014.

Date Casualties Detail
15 March 2011 – 12 March 2014 46,301[3]–65,803[48] killed Number also includes Kurdish YPG militiamen and foreign jihadists.[49]
14 April 2013 28 killed 50 were killed during fighting at the Wadi Deif military base,[50] 22 were included in the above total.[51]
16–21 April 2013 123 killed 150 were killed during the battle for Jdeidat al-Fadl,[52] 27 were included in the above total.[53][54]
2 June 2013 14–17 killed Killed after they were ambushed by Hezbollah while trying to launch rockets into Shi'ite areas of the Beqaa Valley.[55]
19 May – 5 June 2013 172–241 killed 431–500 rebels were killed during the Battle of al-Qusayr, 259 were included in the above total.
early June 2013 13 killed A jihadist suicide bomber blew himself up at a rebel command post killing 12 FSA fighters.[56]
4–5 August 2013 47 killed 60 rebels were killed at the start of the Latakia offensive,[57] 13 were included in the above total.
5 August 2013 11 killed 21 rebels were killed during the final assault on Menagh Air Base,[58] 10 were included in the above total.
20 November 2013 26 killed 35 rebels were killed during the final assault on the Kindi hospital in Aleppo,[59] 9 were included in the above total.[60]
21 December 2013 32 killed Killed after they were ambushed by Hezbollah in Wadi al-Jamala while infiltrating Lebanon from Syria.[61]
Month 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 Total
July 2014 - - - - - - - - 82[62] 35[63] - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 117

It should be noted that at least 104 rebel suicide bombers[64][65] and 86 rebel child soldiers[66] have been killed in the conflict.

Foreigners killed[edit]

Foreign civilians killed[edit]

Country Number of deaths
Palestinians 2,072[67]
Turkey 74[68]
Iraq 47[15][69][70][71]
Lebanon 42[15][72][73][74][75][76][77][78]
Jordan 26[15][79]
Saudi Arabia 23[15]
Somalia 15[79]
Egypt 12[15]
Libya 9[15]
Tunisia 9[15]
France 4[79]
Sudan 4[15]
United Kingdom 20[80]
Afghanistan 3[81]
Kuwait 3[15]
Australia 2[15]
Azerbaijan 1[15]
Belgium 1[15]
Greece 1[15]
Italy 1[82]
Japan 1[15]
Romania 1[15]
Russia 1[15]
Israel 1[15]
United States 1[15]
Yemen 1[15]
Netherlands 1[83]
Unknown 10[15]

Note: The Palestinian figure includes several dozens of Palestinian combatants from both sides and not just civilians.[84] 840 of the killed Palestinians were residents of the Yarmouk Camp.[67]

Foreign opposition fighters killed[edit]

15,422 foreign opposition fighters have been killed by mid-July 2014, according to the SOHR.[3]

9,936 foreign opposition fighters were killed by late December 2013, according to the Jihadist Salafist Movement in Jordan, with the nationalities being as follows: 1,902 Tunisians, 1,807 Libyans, 1,432 Iraqis, 828 Lebanese, 821 Egyptians, 800 Palestinians, 714 Saudis, 571 Yemenis, 412 Moroccans, 274 Algerians, 202 Jordanians, 91 Omanis, 71 Kuwaitis, 42 Somalis, 30 Albanians and Caucasians, 21 Bahrainis, 9 Emiratis, 8 Qataris, 3 Sudanese and 1 Mauritanian.[85] The London-based European Centre for Syria Research put the number of Saudis killed even higher at 729 a month earlier in November 2013.[86] The jihadist movement updated the number of Jordanians killed by mid-June 2014 to 342.[87]

According to Abu Omar al-Shishani, the Chechen ISIS commander, 500 militants from the Caucasus had been killed by mid-January 2014 since the start of the war.[88]

The nationalities of some others are as follows: 90 Turks,[89][90] 51 Albanians,[91][92] 43 Chechens,[79][93][94][95][96][97] 28[98][99]-112[99][100] Azerbaijanis, 28 Britons,[101][102][103][104][105][106][107] 30 Frenchmen,[108] 21 Belgians,[109][110] 21 Germans,[111][112] 18 Bosniaks,[113][114][115][116] 16 Dagestanis,[15][79][117] 13 Afghans,[15][118] 12 Swedes,[119] 10-17 Australians,[120][121][122] 10 Danes,[123][124][125] 10 Dutch,[126] 8-11 Norwegian,[127] 8 Russians,[128] 6 Canadians,[129] 3 Americans,[130][131] 3 Irishmen,[132][133] 3 Pakistanis,[134] 3 Tajiks,[135] 2 Chinese,[136] 2 Italians,[79][137] 2 Eritreans,[134] 2 Kyrgyz,[135] 2 Finns,[138][139] 2 Mauritanians,[140] 2 Uzbeks,[15][141] 1 Armenian,[134] 1 Bulgarian,[141] 1 Chadian,[118] 1 Indonesian,[134] 1 Iranian,[134] 1 Israeli-Arab,[142] 1 Maldivian,[133] 1 Romanian[134] and 1 Spaniard.[143]

Foreign soldiers killed[edit]

28 foreign soldiers have been killed during the conflict.

Iraq On 2 March 2013, one Iraqi soldier was killed during clashes between Syrian rebels and government forces at a Syrian-Iraqi border crossing.[144] On 4 March 2013, 13 Iraqi soldiers were killed by unknown gunmen near the border with Syria while they were transporting 65 Syrian soldiers and government officials back to their country after they had retreated to Iraq a few days earlier. 48 of the Syrians were also killed in the attack.[145][146] On 9 June 2013, Syrian rebels attacked a southern Iraqi border post, killing one Iraqi guard and wounding two.[147] On 14 July 2013, another attack by fighters from the Syrian side of the border left one Iraqi policeman dead and five others wounded.[148]

Jordan A Jordanian soldier was killed in clashes with armed militants who were attempting to cross the border from Jordan into Syria on 22 October 2012.[149]

Lebanon On 1 February 2013, two Lebanese soldiers were killed, along with 1-2 militants, and six were wounded in clashes near the Syrian border which started after an attempt by the military to arrest an anti-Assad rebel commander, who was also killed.[150][151][152] On 28 May 2013, three Lebanese soldiers were killed in an attack on their checkpoint near the border town of Arsal by unknown militants who than fled over the border into Syria.[153] On 29 March 2014, three soldiers were killed and four wounded in a suicide bomb attack on their checkpoint near Arsal.[154]

Turkey Two members of the Turkish Air Force were killed when their F-4 Phantom II military jet was shot down near the Turkish-Syrian border by the Syrian Army on 22 June 2012.[155] On 2 May 2013, one Turkish border guard policeman was killed in a clash with smugglers or rebel fighters on the border between Turkey and Syria. According to the opposition, two rebels were killed as well.[156]

References[edit]

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  88. ^ ISIL Beheads 40 Members Of Rival Group In Aleppo
  89. ^ Turkish Interior Ministry: 500 citizens fighting with al-Nusra in Syria
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  91. ^ Albanian from Kumanovo killed in Syria
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  98. ^ Azerbaijani terrorists in Syria confess they fight against Armenians, Russian and Iranian
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  103. ^ British teenager killed 'while fighting in Syria'
  104. ^ Sixth British jihadist reportedly killed in Syria
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  106. ^ Two Britons reported dead fighting in Syria
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  108. ^ PM sounds alarm over 800 made-in-France jihadists
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  112. ^ German rapper-turned-jihadist reported dead in Syria
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  114. ^ Poginuo Mirza Ganić u Halepu
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  119. ^ Swedish jihadists killed in fighting in Syria
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  122. ^ Serving Australian soldier killed fighting alongside Syrian rebels
  123. ^ Danish Salafist leader said to have been killed in Syria
  124. ^ Two Danes allegedly die fighting in Syria
  125. ^ Danish jihadist reportedly killed in Syria
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  129. ^ 5th Confirmed Canadian Killed Fighting Assad in Syria
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  131. ^ Hama province
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  151. ^ Soldiers in Lebanon Die in Raid Near Syria
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  153. ^ Violence in Lebanese Border Towns Adds to Fears of Syrian Encroachment
  154. ^ Suicide bombing in Lebanon kills three
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