Almost a quarter of a million people have died in Syria since the beginning of the country's civil war about 4 years ago, The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a United Kingdom-based group documenting human rights in Syria, has said.
The SOHR said that it had documented the deaths of 240,381 people, up from its tally of 230,618 announced on June 9.
More than 11,000 children were among the 71,781 civilians killed in Syria. In terms of militant deaths, the group said that the biggest number of fighters killed belonged to regime forces with more than 50,000 soldiers killed so far.
Death toll in Syria has reached a quarter of a million people. Twice as much as in 15-year Lebanese civil war. Think about that for a second— Josie Ensor (@Josiensor) August 8, 201
Meanwhile, the monitor said that 43,384 rebel soldiers and 34,375 foreign fighters have been killed in Syria.
According to Al-Jazeera, the SOHR death toll did not include the 30,000 people reported missing in the country.
The SOHR group was founded in 2006 and says that it is not affiliated with any political party in Syria or abroad.
The United Nations said that more than 4 million Syrians are currently refugees in other countries. According to the U.N. Refugees Agency, there are more than 1.8 million registered Syrian refugees in Turkey and more than 1.1 million Syrian in Lebanon seeking refugee status.
The news comes as the U.N. Security Council voted unanimously on Friday to set up a panel to identify who is behind deadly chlorine gas attacks in Syria, which President Bashar Assad and his government have repeatedly denied responsibility for.
Assad said last week that he was open to a diplomatic solution that would include fighting terrorism in his country. Since the beginning of the civil war in 2011, the country has seen the rise of many extremist groups, most notably the Islamic State group.
In a sign of a Syrian diplomatic effort, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem has paid a visit this week to the Persian Gulf, the first in four years. His first stop was to Oman, which has, unlike the rest of the Persian gulf countries, maintained ties with Damascus.
Muallem flew into the Omani capital Muscat on Thursday. Reports said he might also be meeting with top officials from Saudi Arabia.
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