News / Middle East

Activist Group: Syria's Death Toll Now Exceeds 140,000

A boy cries at a site hit by what activists say was an airstrike by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Masaken Hanano in Aleppo, Feb. 14, 2014.
A boy cries at a site hit by what activists say was an airstrike by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Masaken Hanano in Aleppo, Feb. 14, 2014.
Reuters
More than 140,000 people, over 7,000 of them children, have been killed in Syria's uprising-turned-civil war, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Saturday.

The pro-opposition Observatory said the period since the "Geneva 2" peace talks for Syria began last month had been the bloodiest of the nearly three-year conflict.

The death toll is now at 140,041, according to the Observatory, which is based in Britain but has a network of activists across the country. Among the dead were 7,626 children and 5,064 women.

The revolt against President Bashar al-Assad began as peaceful street protests but transformed into an armed insurgency after a fierce security force crackdown. It has since descended into a civil war with sectarian dimensions.

The Observatory's toll could not be independently verified by Reuters. The United Nations said last month it would stop updating its death count in Syria as dangerous conditions on the ground made estimates impossible to update with accuracy.

The Observatory said all those cases included in its count were those it could document with either names and identification documents, or pictures and videos. It said the fate of tens of thousands more people remained unknown.

The Observatory said it counted more than 30,000 rebels killed and over 50,000 from pro-Assad forces. But the group's chief, Rami Abdelrahman, said the true toll on both sides was likely much higher - by perhaps more than 60,000.

Groups on both sides try to hide their casualties, he said, making fighter death tolls very difficult to gauge.

"The Observatory would like to point out that these statistics do not include the fate of more than 180,000 people missing inside the regime's prisons," it said in a statement.

"Nor does it include more than 7,000 detained by regime forces and armed groups loyal to it, or the hundreds of people kidnapped [by rebel groups] because they are believed to be regime loyalists."

The Observatory called for an immediate cease-fire for the Geneva peace talks, now planned to go into a third round.

"It is shameful that the international community has done nothing to show that it will defend human rights," Abdelrahman told Reuters by telephone. "They are just looking on at this tragedy. The Syrian people dying are just statistics to them."

You May Like

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid