The Slatest

Rights Group: Syria Death Toll Surpasses 210,000

A man prays by his grandfather’s gave at a graveyard covered in snow in the rebel-held city of Douma, northeast of the capital Damascus, on Jan. 7, 2015.

Photo by Abd Doumany/AFP/Getty Images

After nearly four years of civil war, the death toll in Syria has risen to 210,060, nearly half of whom are civilians, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. As shocking as that figure is, the rights group says the real number is likely much higher. The U.K.-based group claims that there have been 10,664 children and 6,783 women among the dead. The civil war in Syria began in March 2011, when peaceful protests against President Bashar al-Assad suddenly turned into an all-out armed conflict.

The human rights group, which has a network of activists across Syria, says it was able to verify the deaths of 35,827 Syrian rebels and 45,385 Syrian army soldiers, reports Reuters, which highlights that the numbers are impossible to verify independently. The group says the number of foreign fighters killed is nearly 25,000 but says the real number is likely higher:

We in the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights estimates the real number of non-Syrian casualties from the IS, al-Nusra Front, Islamic factions, Jund Al-Aqsa battalion, Junoud al-Sham, al-Katiba al-Khadra’, Jund al-Sham, rebel battalions, regular forces and pro-regime militants to be approximately 85,000 more than the documented number due to the extreme discretion by all sides on the human losses caused by the conflict, the difficulty of communication in Syria, and the difficulties to know identify the fate of 40,000 detainees.

More than 1.5 million Syrians have been injured and permanently disabled in some way, the group estimates.