Casualties of the Syrian Civil War
Estimates of deaths in the Syrian Civil War, per opposition activist groups, vary between 301,781 and 470,000. On 23 April 2016, the United Nations and Arab League Envoy to Syria put out an estimate of 400,000 that had died in the war.
UNICEF reported that over 500 children had been killed by early February 2012. Another 400 children were reportedly arrested and tortured in Syrian prisons. Both claims have been contested by the Syrian government. Additionally, over 600 detainees and political prisoners died under torture. The United Nations stated that by the end of April 2014, 8,803 children had been killed, while the Oxford Research Group said that a total of 11,420 children died in the conflict by late November 2013. By mid-September 2016, the opposition activist group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported the number of children killed in the conflict had risen to 15,099, while at the same time 10,018 women were also killed.
The number of fatalities in the conflict, according to the Syrian opposition website Syrian Martyrs, is 151,888, updated to 30 April 2016. The number includes 35,859 rebels but does not include members of the government security forces or pro-government foreign combatants who have died. The Syrian Martyrs number of civilian deaths 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.
|Governorate||Number of deaths|
Other estimates range from 292,815 to 470,000. All of the following totals include civilians, rebels and government forces:
|Syrian Centre for Policy Research||470,000 killed||15 March 2011 – 11 February 2016|
|UN and Arab League Envoy to Syria||400,000 killed||15 March 2011 – 23 April 2016|
|Syrian Observatory for Human Rights||301,781–422,317 killed||15 March 2011 – 12 September 2016|
At the start of the war, Al Jazeera journalist Nir Rosen stated that many of the deaths reported daily by activists were in fact armed insurgents falsely presented as civilian deaths, but confirmed that real civilian deaths do occur on a regular basis. A number of Middle East political analysts, including those from the Lebanese Al Akhbar newspaper, also urged caution.
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".
In May 2013, SOHR stated that at least 41,000 of those killed during the conflict were Alawites. By April 2015, reportedly a third of the country's 250,000 Alawites that were of fighting age had been killed.
Death tolls by time periods
The following figures were all compiled by the SOHR which is considered an authoritative source on the matter. The figures are only for documented deaths, while the SOHR estimates another 120,500 undocumented deaths had occurred.
|Syrian military and police||59,006–94,006 killed|
|National Defense Force (Shabiha)||41,564–55,564 killed|
|Lebanese Hezbollah||1,321–1,600 killed|
|Other non-Syrian militiamen||5,163 killed|
The non-Syrian militiamen fatalities figure includes: over 1,000 Iranian-lead fighters (464 Iranians, 508 Afghans, 123 Pakistanis), at least 565 Iraqi Shia militiamen, one Lebanese member of the SCNP and one member of the Lebanese Amal Movement. Other sources put the overall number of killed Iranian-lead forces, which also includes the Afghan and Pakistani militias, at over 3,000 by November 2016, and about 1,200 Iranian military fatalities by April 2016. Also, over 690 Palestinian militiamen have been killed and these include: 268 Liwa Al-Quds fighters, 204 members of the PLA, 93 PFLP–GC members, 54 Quwat al-Jalil fighters, 24 who belonged to Fatah al-Intifada and 51 other militiamen.
In early December 2013, rebels claimed that a pro-government Russian fighter was killed in fighting in Aleppo. In late 2015, it was reported 3–9 Russian OSM security contractors had been killed. However, this was denied by Russia.
Due to the opposition's policy of counting rebel fighters that were not defectors as civilians 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. 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.
|Kurdish YPG/YPJ||3,298 killed|
It should be noted that 52,031 foreign rebel and ISIL fighters, at least 184 rebel suicide bombers and 246 rebel child soldiers have been killed in the conflict. Additionally, 25 foreign pro-Kurdish fighters died.
Foreign civilians killed
|Country||Number of deaths|
Foreign anti-government fighters killed
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. The London-based European Centre for Syria Research put the number of Saudis killed even higher at 729 a month earlier in November 2013. The jihadist movement updated the number of Jordanians killed by late May 2014 to 342, although they put the figure in late October at over 250. According to another estimate, the Jordanian toll was at least 500 by July 2016.
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. Ramzan Kadyrov, Head of the Chechen Republic, stated in late November 2015, that 200 Chechens had died.
In mid-May 2015, at least 70 Lebanese fighters were reported killed in the previous several months. In late December 2015, Tunis stated 800 Tunisian ISIL fighters had been killed since the start of the war.
The nationalities of some others are as follows: 300 Tajiks, 200 Frenchmen, 160–2,000 Russians, 150 Azerbaijanis, 142 Britons, 125 Germans, 120 Albanians, 90 Turks, 88 Belgians, 63 Australians, 45 Kyrgyz, 40 Swedes, 30–40 Bosniaks, 30 Dutch, 27 Danes, 21 Austrians, 19 Malaysians, 18 Americans, 15 Finns, 15 Norwegians, 14 Canadians, 13 Afghans, 4 Irishmen, 4 Israeli-Arabs, 4 Maldivians, 3 Chinese, 3 Pakistanis, 2-3 Filipinos, 2 Iranians, 2 Italians, 2 Eritreans, 2 Indonesians, 2 Mauritanians, 2 Spaniards, 2 Uzbeks, 1 Armenian, 1 Bulgarian, 1 Chadian, 1 Indian, 1 Japanese, 1 Romanian and 1 Slovenian.
Foreign soldiers killed
128 foreign soldiers have been killed during the conflict, mostly in the border areas with Syria.
16 servicemen killed
On 2 March 2013, one Iraqi soldier was killed during clashes between Syrian rebels and government forces at a Syrian-Iraqi border crossing. 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. On 9 June 2013, Syrian rebels attacked a southern Iraqi border post, killing one Iraqi guard and wounding two. On 14 July 2013, another attack by fighters from the Syrian side of the border left one Iraqi policeman dead and five others wounded.
8 servicemen killed
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. On 3 January 2015, ISIL burned a Jordanian military pilot alive in a metal cage. The pilot was captured after his airplane crashed near Al-Raqqah while conducting air-strikes. Six Jordanian soldiers were killed by a car-bomb blast near the Syrian refugee camp of al-Rukban on 21 June 2016.
48 servicemen killed
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. 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. On 29 March 2014, three soldiers were killed and four wounded in a suicide bomb attack on their checkpoint near Arsal. 20 soldiers were killed during the Battle of Arsal against Syrian and other foreign jihadists and a further four were captured and subsequently executed. On 19 September, two soldiers were killed by a roadside bomb near Arsal. On 2 December, six soldiers were killed and one wounded in an ambush by unknown gunmen in the Tal Hamra area of Ras Baalbek, near the border with Syria. On 23 January 2015, eight soldiers were killed and 22 wounded near Ras Baalbek after their outpost near the border was attacked by ISIS. The fighting also left more than 40 militants dead.
35 servicemen killed
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. 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. Throughout 2014, seven soldiers and a policeman were killed along the border with Syria in shootouts with foreign jihadists, Kurdish fighters and other unknown gunmen. On 22 February 2015, a soldier was killed in an accident during a military incursion into Syria to evacuate Turkish troops at the Tomb of Suleyman Shah. Later, in two incidents in July and September, two soldiers were killed and five wounded by cross-border fire from ISIL territory in Syria. On 15 February 2016, a soldier died at the border during clashes against human smugglers that tried to cross the border illegally. Two Turkish soldiers died in a suicide bombing at a Syrian border crossing in mid-August. Following the start of Turkey's ground incursion into Syria against ISIL and Kurdish forces in late August 2016, 18 soldiers had died by 25 November.
2 servicemen killed
A U.S. Marine was killed on 1 October 2014, when the V-22 Osprey aircraft he was riding in nearly crashed into the sea while supporting air strikes against the Islamic State jihadist group in Syria, and he fell into the water. Also, a U.S. special forces member died due to a bomb explosion while supporting Kurdish-led forces during the Wrath of Euphrates offensive against ISIL-held Raqqa.
One 19-year-old serviceman committed suicide. A Russian military co-pilot was killed when his Su-24 military plane was shot down near the Turkish-Syrian border by the Turkish military on 24 November 2015. His Pilot was later recovered alive and well by Russian and Syrian special forces. Additionally, a Russian marine was killed when his military rescue helicopter was shot down by rebels while searching for the downed planes pilots. On February 3, a Russian military advisor attached to Syrian troops was killed by rebel mortar fire, while another Russian soldier was killed by bombardment while being attached to the Syrian Army. A Special Forces soldier died while conducting target designation during the 2016 Palmyra offensive. Two Russian pilots died in a helicopter crash in April 2016. Another soldier died in July 2016 in Aleppo Province, and 5 more when their Mi-8 was shoot down in Late July.
Foreign air-strike casualties
It should be noted, the SOHR considers the following figures on ISIL, al-Nusra and other rebel fatalities to be higher due to the groups efforts to hide their losses.
According to SOHR, U.S.-led Coalition airstrikes have killed 6,455 people across Syria, of which: 5,508 dead were ISIL fighters, 152 Al-Nusra Front militants and other rebels, 90 government soldiers and 705 civilians. The air strikes occurred in the period between 22 September 2014 and 23 November 2016.
According to SOHR, Russian airstrikes in Syria killed 10,503 people, of which: 2,911 were ISIL fighters, 3,108 militants from the Al-Qaeda affiliate al-Nusra Front and other rebel forces and 4,484 civilians. The air strikes occurred in the period between 30 September 2015 and 30 November 2016.
Medical workers killed
A February 2015 joint report by the Center for Public Health and Human Rights of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Syrian American Medical Society asserted that "Syria is the most dangerous place in the world to be a doctor". Roughly half (an estimated 15,000) of Syrian doctors fled the country. The government passed a law in 2012 making it illegal to render medical aid to anyone suspected to be an opposition member and Amnesty International found that doctors and medical staff also took part in torture of patients.
Physicians for Human Rights has been tracking the medical personnel deaths in Syria, though they state that "these numbers are conservative given the difficulties in reporting during a war." As of the end of September 2015, the number of medical workers killed in the Syrian civil war totaled 679. 648 of these deaths are attributable to the Syrian government, 17 by non-state armed groups, one by Kurdish forces, and 13 by unidentified forces. In February 2016, the number of killed medical personnel was updated to 697, and subsequently in June to more than 700.
Médecins Sans Frontières has reported that suppliers in Syria refuse to sell essential medical supplies such as gauze and surgical threads to doctors due to government intimidation, with this being a particular problem for besieged areas.
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حصاد 2015: لن تصدقوا عدد شهداء حزب الله مقابل الإرهابيين بسوريا!
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