UN: Syria Death Toll at 5,000

Jump in Official Figure Raises Questions About Reliability

Speaking today to the UN Security Council, UN Rights Chief Navi Pillay announced that 5,000 people have been killed inside Syria since the beginning of a regime crackdown on protesters in February.

The number, according to Pillay, takes into account “more than 200” killed since December 2. This is noteworthy chiefly because the UN only put the toll at 4,000 on December 1, after 23 people were killed that day.

This inevitably raises the question of how reliable the UN’s data is, and where the other 800 deaths came from since there were no media reports to suggest any large extra tolls above the 200 cited in Pillay’s comments.

Of course, the reliability of any figures coming out of Syria is automatically suspect with the nation not allowing independent media. This has been a problem in several countries but unlike the early crackdown in Libya, for example, there have been fairly regular daily accounts of where and how deaths happened.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.