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The thirteen years of war in Syria leave nearly 620,000 dead, including some 165,000 civilians

UNICEF says nearly 7.5 million children need humanitarian aid in Syria, the highest number since war broke out in 2011

The war in Syria, which celebrates its thirteenth anniversary this Friday, has left nearly 620,000 dead to date, including around 165,000 civilians, according to the balance published by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which states that it has been able to verify the identity of more than 507,000 of the victims.

The organization, based in London and with informants in the Asian country, has indicated that it has been able to confirm 617,910 deaths since the start of the conflict in 2011, including 507,567 people whose identity has been verified.

Thus, he detailed that among the dead there are 164,223 civilians, including 25,857 children, before pointing out that some 26,400 have died in Army bombings, to which are added nearly 52,800 deaths in ground attacks and 49,450 deaths from torture suffered in prison. .

To this figure must be added nearly 8,730 deaths in bombings carried out by Russia, nearly 5,600 in bombings by the international coalition led by the United States, 2,679 in bombings by Israel, and 974 at the hands of Turkish forces.

In addition, the balance includes some 2,500 deaths from bombings whose responsibility could not be confirmed, some 4,875 from attacks by the Islamic State, nearly 2,400 at the hands of government groups, 908 at the hands of other jihadist groups and 467 in “unknown circumstances.”

Among the civilian victims are also 1,349 executed, 988 due to “the deterioration of living conditions”, 478 killed at the hands of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and other Kurdish groups and 281 for unspecified causes, among other reasons collected by the Observatory in its balance.

On the other hand, the organization estimates the total number of combat deaths at around 343,345, including 92,840 members of government forces, 67,900 members of pro-government groups and Iranian militias, 8,850 foreigners integrated into pro-Iranian militias and 1,782 party members. Lebanese Shiite militia Hezbollah.

To these figures must be added 80,640 members of Islamist groups, 3,596 Syrian soldiers who deserted from the Armed Forces, 41,375 members of the Islamic State, 28,128 members of other jihadist groups, 11,415 members of the FDS and 3,260 from other Kurdish groups.

The Observatory has highlighted that 261 Turks and 273 foreign mercenaries “loyal to Russia” have also died in the conflict, plus 3,018 unidentified people. Furthermore, he specifies that he could not document losses in the international coalition due to “its extreme secrecy.”

On the other hand, he noted that this balance does not include another 55,000 people killed in government prisons, 3,200 fighters from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and nearly 54,000 dead “impossible to identify due to the extreme secrecy of the parties to the conflict.” “.

The organization has also pointed out that the war has left 2.1 million injured and thirteen million displaced, as well as destruction and serious material damage in hospitals, schools and other public and private centers and facilities, without an agreement being reached. of peace.

“We call on international parties to work seriously and continuously, to the maximum of their capabilities, to stop the bloodshed of the Syrian people, who have stood up to tyranny and injustice, in order to achieve democracy, freedom, justice and equality”, the Observatory has stressed.

For its part, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) stated this Friday that almost 7.5 million children need humanitarian aid in Syria, the highest number since the outbreak of war in 2011 due to the violent repression of the democratic protests registered in the wake of the ‘Arab Spring’.

“The sad reality is that today, and in the days to come, many boys and girls in Syria will turn thirteen and become teenagers knowing that their entire childhood to date has been marked by conflict, displacement and deprivation,” said UNICEF director for the Middle East and North Africa, Adele Khodr.

“Ultimately, children need a chance. They need a long-term peaceful solution to the crisis, but we can’t just wait for it to happen,” she said. “In the meantime, it is essential to ensure that children and their families not only have access to basic services, but that we are also equipping them with the skills to build their own future,” she added.

The organization has maintained that repeated cycles of violence and displacement, the deep economic crisis, diseases and the 2023 earthquakes have left hundreds of thousands of children exposed to long-term physical and psychosocial consequences.

Thus, more than 650,000 children under five years of age suffer from chronic malnutrition, an increase of about 150,000 since 2019, while a recent survey in northern Syria reveals that 34 percent of girls and 31 percent of boys showed psychosocial distress.

Along these lines, rapid assessments carried out in the areas affected by the 2023 earthquakes in southern Turkey, near the common border, show that 83 percent of those surveyed reflect psychosocial distress behaviors.

Despite this situation, which shows that more than two thirds of the population needs humanitarian aid, funding for operations has fallen to historic lows, both in Syria and for Syrians in neighboring countries, which is reflected in the fact that almost half of the 5.5 million school-age children are out of school.

“A generation of children in Syria has already paid an intolerable price for this conflict,” said Khodr, who argued that “the continued support of the international community is critical to reestablishing systems to provide basic social services such as education, water and sanitation, health, nutrition, and child and social protection, to ensure that no child in Syria is left behind.

UNICEF has appealed for $401.7 million (about €369.1 million) to provide essential livelihoods to 8.5 million people, including 5.4 million children, by 2024. Thus, he stressed that the greatest financing needs are for water, sanitation and hygiene, health and education, while protection remains a high priority.

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