Syria records lowest annual death toll since war began: Monitor

AFP , Saturday 31 Dec 2022

At least 3,825 people have died in Syria's war in 2022, the lowest yearly toll since the start of the conflict more than a decade ago, a war monitor said Saturday.

Aleppo, Syria
Syrians gather in a Christmas market in at al-Hatab square in Syria s northern city of Aleppo on December 24, 2022. AFP

 

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights had last year put the death toll at 3,746 throughout 2021, before revising it up to 3,882.

After years of deadly battle and bombardments following the brutal suppression of 2011 anti-government protests, the conflict has largely abated in the last three years.

Sporadic fighting at times breaks out and jihadist attacks continue, mainly in the east of the country.

Among those killed in 2022 were 1,627 civilians, including 321 children, according to the figures from the Observatory, which relies on a wide network of sources on the ground in Syria.

Of the civilians killed, 209 people -- about half of them children -- were killed by mines or other explosive devices.

In addition, 627 government security force personnel were killed along with 217 other fighters loyal to the regime of Bashar al-Assad, the Observatory said.

Some 387 members of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces and their allies were also among the dead, as well as more than 500 jihadists.

The director of the Observatory, Rami Abdel Rahman, told AFP a large number of the deaths occurred due to security chaos, dozens of strikes launched by Israel, and attacks by the Islamic State group in the Syrian desert.

The war has killed nearly half a million people since it broke out over a decade ago, displacing almost half of Syria's pre-war population.

Assad has retaken most of the territory initially lost to rebel groups, though the SDF - which the regime maintains a degree of cooperation with - continues to control areas in the north and northeast.

Turkey, a key player in the war, has repeatedly threatened to launch a ground offensive against the Syrian Kurds in recent months, having already pursued three such offensives previously.

In addition, about half of the northwestern province of Idlib and areas bordering the neighboring provinces of Hama, Aleppo, and Latakia are dominated by the jihadist group Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and other rebel factions.

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