More than 40,000 killed since start of Syria conflict - monitor

BEIRUT Fri Nov 23, 2012 11:13am GMT

Free Syrian Army fighters pose near a tank after they said they fought and defeated government troops at military base at the town of Atareb near Aleppo November 19, 2012. Picture taken November 19, 2012. REUTERS/Omar Ezzdin/Shaam News Network/Handout

Free Syrian Army fighters pose near a tank after they said they fought and defeated government troops at military base at the town of Atareb near Aleppo November 19, 2012. Picture taken November 19, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Omar Ezzdin/Shaam News Network/Handout

Related Topics

BEIRUT (Reuters) - More than 40,000 people have been killed in 20 months of conflict between Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces and those fighting for his overthrow, a violence monitoring group said on Friday.

Rami Abdelrahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said about half the fatalities were civilians and the other half split about evenly between rebels and government soldiers.

"The figure is likely much higher as the rebels and the government lie about how many of their forces have died to make it look like they are winning," Abdelrahman told Reuters.

The British-based Observatory, which supports the opposition, has been collating the names of the dead since government security forces started shooting pro-democracy protesters in March 2011.

Army defectors and ordinary Syrians took up arms against Assad and a civil war has since taken hold.

Abdelrahman said he only counts deceased people whose deaths are confirmed by friends or relatives.

"There are 10,000 to 15,000 people who were arrested months ago so we can't use that number as we don't know if they are dead or alive," he said.

Reuters cannot independently confirm the figures due to severe reporting restrictions imposed by the Syrian authorities.

(Reporting by Oliver Holmes; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

FILED UNDER:
We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (1)
Raymond.Vermont wrote:
Thats nearly as much as the figures for the conflict between the PKK and Turkey…

Lot of violence appears to be the way of life in that neck of the woods.

Nov 23, 2012 2:47pm GMT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.