Middle East

Assad, Iran, Russia committed 91% of civilian killings in Syria – Middle East Monitor

The Syrian regime of Bashar Al-Assad and its allies, in the ongoing decade-long civil war, have been responsible for around 91 per cent of deaths since the start of the conflict, a rights group has reported.

According to statistics by the UK-based organisation, the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR), 228,893 civilians were killed in Syria between March 2011 and June 2022. Of that number, 200,391 were killed by the Syrian regime and Iranian militias, with a further 6,928 having been killed by Russian forces.

Putin blindly bombs Syria - Cartoon [Sarwar Ahmed/MiddleEastMonitor]

Putin blindly bombs Syria – Cartoon [Sarwar Ahmed/MiddleEastMonitor]

The remaining killings were carried out by the other players in the civil war, including Daesh, the US-led coalition, the Syrian opposition factions and the Kurdish militias such as the People’s Protection Units (YPG) and Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

To add to those numbers, SNHR stated that 29,791 children have also been killed in the conflict, 84 per cent of whom were taken out by the Assad regime and Russia.

According to SNHR’s chairman and founder, Fadel Abdul Ghany, who spoke to the New Arab news outlet, a leading cause of the killings was the rampant use of airstrikes on civilian areas throughout the past decade.

With the airstrikes being responsible for approximately 70 per cent of all those deaths, he said, “Missiles, barrel bombs lead to massive destruction and lead to massive casualties.” While the Iranian militias were effective in carrying out their atrocities on the ground, “only two parties have [used] an air force – the Syrian regime and the Russians. Also the US-led coalition, but they only operate in very specific areas.”

Abdul Ghany stressed that “a large percentage of these killings took place deliberately”, and that they were “not just random shelling. We have been monitoring Syria for 12 years, day by day, [and we know this] because there is repeated shelling against specific civilian areas”.

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