Syrian Civil War Death Toll Climbs Over 320,000 Casualties; Observatory Group Slams International Community's Silence as Encouraging Bloodshed

Residents gather at a site hit by an airstrike by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar Al Assad in Billion village in the Jabal Al Zawiya region in May 2015.
Residents gather at a site hit by an airstrike by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar Al Assad in Billion village in the Jabal Al Zawiya region in May 2015. | (Photo: Reuters)

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has said that more than 320,000 people have died in the ongoing Syrian civil war since March 2011, which includes at least 11,493 children, while more than 1,500,000 people are believed to have been wounded. The group slammed the international community for its continued silence on the issue, arguing that it encourages the bloodshed.

"The silence of the International community for the war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Syria encourages the criminals to kill more and more Syrian people because they have not found anyone that deter them from continuing their crimes that cause to wound more than 1,500,000 people; some of them with permanent disabilities, make hundreds of thousands children without parents, displace more than half of Syrian people and destroy infrastructure, private and public properties," SOHR said in a statement on Tuesday.

It's latest report included a detailed breakdown of the different types of casualties in the civil war. It is being fought between the government of President Bashar al-Assad, various rebel groups that have risen up against his army, and terror group ISIS, which has captured numerous cities in the country.

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SOHR, the U.N., and other watchdog groups have accused all sides of carrying out crimes against civilians, who are caught in the crossfire.

The Observatory has been especially critical of the barrel bomb attacks on Syrian cities that have killed hundreds of civilians on a number of occasions. It has blamed these attacks on Assad's government, though the Syrian president has denied his army is carrying out any such bombings.

Back in March, Oxfam International and other humanitarian agencies said in a report that at least 220,000 people have been killed in the war, but due to the difficulty in gathering information on all of the casualties, that number was likely to be much smaller than the real death toll.

SOHR's casualties' list also included ISIS members and related terror groups whose members have died in Syria, putting that number at 31,247.

The Observatory said that even its list offers conservative estimates, since there are more than 20,000 detainees in regime prisons and thousands of other people who have disappeared during the raids or been taken as captives by ISIS.

"Despite our loss of hope in an international community capable and willing to put an end to the ongoing atrocities in Syria, we in the Syrian Observatory call upon all sides that claim to defend the freedoms of the people and their rights, to take a serious and responsible stance in order to end the bloodshed in Syria amid the increasing violence and the escalating number of casualties," SOHR said.

"We also call upon all sides to support the Syrian people in their aspirations toward freedom, equality and democracy and to exert all effort in guaranteeing that the perpetrators and their wrongdoings will not go unpunished, through the International Criminal Court or through establishing a special court for Syria."

The Observatory's concern echo those of Oxfam, which called the civil war "a stain on the conscience of the international community."

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