March 18, 2019
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More than 371,000 killed in Syria's 8 year war, NGO says

 Syrians inspect the damage following an airstrike by forces loyal to the al-Assad regime in Douma city, Syria, Nov. 4, 2015. EPA-EFE FILE/MOHAMMED BADRA

Syrians inspect the damage following an airstrike by forces loyal to the al-Assad regime in Douma city, Syria, Nov. 4, 2015. EPA-EFE FILE/MOHAMMED BADRA

Cairo, Mar 15 (efe-epa).- More than 371,000 Syrians have been killed since the beginning of the Syrian Civil War in 2011, a United Kingdom-based war monitor reported Friday.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights was able to document the 371,222 Syrian war dead, saying that the present death toll may exceed 570,000 dead given the large numbers of foreign fighters involved in the conflict as well as the estimated 88,000 prisoners who were tortured to death in detention centers set up and run by the regime of President Bashar al-Assad over the course of the conflict.

Of the officially recorded 371,222 dead, around 112,623 were civilians, 21,065 were minors and 13,173 were women, the monitor said.

The observatory has been able to assess that 65,187 soldiers have died to date fighting on behalf of the Assad regime, out of which an estimated total of 50,484 were of Syrian decent.

An estimated 65,726 non-Syrians have died in the fighting, they were mainly from the Arab World but also included Afghans and Iranians belonging to radical armed groups, such as the Islamic State terror organization and the Levant Front, a Syrian rebel group.

The observatory's appraisals do not include the estimated 4,500 kidnapped individuals taken by IS or the estimated 4,700 hostages taken from Assad regime and affiliated forces.

Syria's civil war erupted in 2011 after the government clamped down on popular protests sweeping the region.

It has gone on to claim the lives of roughly half a million people, according to the Syrian Center for Policy and Research.

At its height, the IS caliphate stretched across northern and central Iraq and Syria, swallowing up the ancient and densely populated cities of Mosul and Raqqa.

IS is on the brink of territorial defeat and only the hardiest fighters remained in Baghuz, an unremarkable Syrian town on the banks of the Euphrates near the Iraqi border and the so-called caliphate's final outpost in the southeast of the country.

On Mar. 4, more than 200 from the terror organization yielded to international troops who had laid siege to Baghuz, where a final and major offensive was underway.

For centuries, the divisions between the three main traditions of Islamic political thought – that is Sunnism, Shi'ism and Khawarij-influenced fundamentalism – have constituted the basis of political rivalry within Islamism.

However, it is only the fundamentalist branch of Islamism practiced in contemporary times by IS, Al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations, that has sanctioned assassinations and mass killing to achieve its objectives, while branding fellow Muslims as infidels.

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