Syria Report: The 16,913 Civilians Killed in 2016

TOPSHOT - A Syrian boy is comforted as he cries next to the body of a relative who died in a reported airstrike on April 27, 2016 in the rebel-held neighbourhood of al-Soukour in the northern city of Aleppo. / AFP PHOTO / KARAM AL-MASRIKARAM AL-MASRI/AFP/Getty Images

PHOTO: A boy weeps over the body of a relative in an opposition-held area of Aleppo city, April 2016

Almost 17,000 civilians — including 1,984 children and 1,237 women — were killed in Syria in 2016, according to a human rights organization documenting deaths and abuses in the conflict.

The Syrian Network for Human Rights said regime forces were responsible for more than half of the 16,913 deaths, killing 8.736 people. Among them were 1,984 children and 1,237 women.

Russian forces killed 3,967 victims, including 1,042 children and 684 women.

The Islamic State killed 1,510 people, while rebels caused 1,048 deaths, most of them from rocket attacks. The US-led coalition killed 537, almost all by airstrikes, while Kurdish forces killed 146. “Other parties” left 951 dead.

Of the deaths, 476 were by torture, with regime forces responsible for 447.

The SNHR also documented 10,047 arbitrary detentions: 7,543 by regime forces, 1,419 by the Islamic State, 673 by Kurdish forces 234 by Jabhat Fatah al-Sham, and 178 by rebels.

Of those seized by regime forces, 251 were children and 448 were women.

The SNHR said 112 medical personnel and 86 media activists were killed. Almost all were slain by Russian-regime attacks, although the Islamic State killed 20 medical staff and 18 citizen journalists.

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  1. Human shame
    A genocidal regime that in a year killed 8,736 civilians and detained 7,543 of whom many will already be dead and the rest imprisoned in an inhuman way; It is defended by the majority of left-wing countries and left-wing political groups in right-wing countries and almost ignored by the rest of humanity

  2. Any estimate for JI-Joe combatant casualties, desertions and recruitment in this past year? I’ve a feeling they cannot compare favourably to previous figures when, borne aloft on the verbiage and charity logistics of NATO and its HouseArabs, victory seemed tantalisingly within their grasp. At this point, however, with the major patrons rushing to cash their dwindling chips, morale must be in the shitter.

      • AP sums up the dismal JI-Joe position fairly comprehensively:
        With little room to maneuver, Syria’s rebels head for talks
        BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian rebels are sending more than a dozen representatives next week to the capital of Kazakhstan for talks with government representatives, the first such negotiations between the two sides in a year.
        But the loss of Aleppo, the election of Donald Trump and the pivot of Turkey toward Russia has left the opposition with very little room to maneuver.
        Without much foreign support and with Syria’s wider rebellion in crisis, the opposition will be negotiating for scraps, having been forced to take part in a Russia-led initiative that won’t challenge President Bashar Assad’s hold on power.
        “They have no choice. With Trump’s win, any lingering hope to push the West into increasing its rebel support is lost,” said Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma.
        Monday’s scheduled meeting in Astana, Kazakhstan, highlights the dramatic changes in the year since the last talks broke down in Geneva.
        Russia’s massive military intervention has unequivocally given Assad the upper hand, leaving his forces in control of Syria’s major cities and key population centers.
        In the most significant setback for the rebellion since the conflict in Syria began in March 2011, pro-government forces recaptured the northern city of Aleppo in December, ending the opposition’s four-year hold on parts of Syria’s largest and most important city. For the rebels, it was an emotional departure from a place that once represented the dream of a Syria free of Assad.
        It will be difficult for them to recover from such a defeat.
        Turkish President Recep Tayyep Erdogan is embroiled in troubles at home and has moved closer to Russia recently, prioritizing the fight against Kurds and the Islamic State group over support for the Syrian rebels he has propped up for years. Instead, Ankara is leading Syrian opposition fighters in its own offensive against IS and Kurdish rebels in northern Syria.
        On Friday, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek said his country has to be “realistic” and can no longer insist on any settlement for Syria’s long-running war without Assad.
        “The Russians have dealt us a military defeat in Aleppo,” said Yasser al-Youssef, a member of the political bureau of the Noureddin el-Zinki armed group, a major rebel group in northern Syria.
        “Now they are trying to deal us another defeat, politically,” he said, referring to the conference in the former Soviet republic of Kazakhstan.
        The humiliating loss forced the rebel factions on Dec. 29 to sign a cease-fire deal in which they agreed to the talks with representatives of Assad’s government.
        The Russians cast the talks as the first opportunity to bring opposition military leaders to the table. Officials have said the session initially would focus on strengthening the truce in Syria, which Russia brokered with Turkey and Iran, and would help pave way for prospective talks in Geneva.
        The negotiations will undoubtedly set the tone and agenda for future talks.
        “Vladimir Putin’s rush to establish a new political framework through organizing Syria peace talks in the Kazakh capital are primarily designed to cement the Kremlin’s position as the architect of a political solution,” said Ayham Kamel, Middle East and North Africa director at Eurasia Group.
        He said Putin’s effort is set to eliminate any negotiating structure that would require Assad’s removal.
        Week-long negotiations in Turkey ahead of the talks reflect deep disagreement among the rebels on the goals and purpose of attending. With few friends left, the armed opposition also has no significant lifeline beside Ankara, which also had sent its troops to Syria to lead an offensive against Islamic State militants and Kurdish fighters on its borders. Saudi Arabia, an early supporter of the uprising, has been embroiled in its own war in Yemen, drying up coffers amid lower oil prices. Qatar, another ally of the rebels, would still have to coordinate with Turkey to reach them.
        [and so it continues]
        Apropos of which, the JI-Joe online guru Interbrigades offers this salient advice:
        I recommend a quick unconditional surrender as these groups don’t have the guts & wisdom anyway to unite and start the real war. #FSA

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