Assad kills more Syrians than IS and Washington combined

Assad kills more Syrians than IS and Washington combined
Figures released by a Syria monitor reveal that Damascus killed over 400 civilians in March, while deaths caused by the US-led coalition have spiked.
2 min read
04 April, 2017
Syria's regime does not record or report civilian deaths caused by its forces [AFP]
The regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad killed more civilians than the Islamic State group, Russia and the US-led coalition in March, according to figures released by a human rights group.

The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) found that Assad regime killed 417 civilians including 61 children and 46 women.

Behind the regime is the US-led coalition, which is responsible for the deaths of 260 civilians, including 34 women and 70 children, the report found.

The report also found that the Islamic State killed 119 civilians in March, while Russian forces are believed to have killed 224 civilians.

Despite placing numbers on the casualties, the SNHR acknowledged that the true number of civilians killed in Syria's conflict could be much higher.

"From our perspective, the statistics published by some groups on this category of victims are fictitious and are not based on any actual data," the SNHR said in its report.

"Therefore, the report only includes civilian victims who were killed by all parties and compares them."

The Syrian Government and IS do not publish or record the number of their victims.

While the Syrian regime is responsible for most civilian deaths during the country's conflict, the number of civilian casualties in both Iraq and Syria is surging as the US-led coalition makes headway into former IS-held territory.

Around 200 Mosul residents were killed in recent airstrikes, including one by the US-led coalition on March 17 that claimed over a hundred lives.

Another US airstrike in the IS group's Syrian stronghold of Raqqa killed up to 30 civilians who were sheltering in a school.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, another 42 people were killed in a "massacre" by US forces, just a week before the Raqqa strike.

"Almost 1,000 civilian non-combatant deaths have already been alleged from coalition actions across Iraq and Syria in March — a record claim," said monitoring group Airwars in a statement.

"These reported casualty levels are comparable with some of the worst periods of Russian activity in Syria."

US military officials say that they have worked hard to avoid civilian casualties in the region, however rights groups have challenged this.

"Evidence gathered on the ground in East Mosul points to an alarming pattern of US-led coalition airstrikes which have destroyed whole houses with entire families inside," said Donatella Rovera, Senior Crisis Response Adviser at Amnesty International.

"The high civilian toll suggests that coalition forces leading the offensive in Mosul have failed to take adequate precautions to prevent civilian deaths, in flagrant violation of international humanitarian law."