Rebel Activists: Over 5,000 Killed in Syria in August

Claim Vast Majority Are Civilians

With August coming to an end, the death toll for the deadliest month of fighting in the Syrian Civil War is trying to be calculated, with different rebel groups throwing around enormous, but variable figures.

The Local Coordination Committees, an Egypt-based pro-rebel bloc, claimed 4,933 civilians were killed. The British-based Syrian Observatory put the overall figure at 5,440 killed and 4,114 civilians.

Such tolls, if confirmed, would be an enormous increase over pasts months, which in and of itself would be unsurprising since the other months saw only sporadic violence and abortive attempts at ceasefires.

Effects to quantify the “civilian” toll are extremely difficult, as many rebel blocs simply fold their own fighters into the civilian figure, and release two tolls in their action reports: regime forces slain and civilians. Likewise, both rebels and regime tend to use “enemy” very loosely, and fold “sympathizers” into those tolls.

The over 5,000 figure seems difficult to justify, however, as there were only a handful of days during which over 100 deaths were reported by any faction, and to get to that number this would’ve had to be a daily occurrence.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.