Report: Deaths Dropping in Syrian Civil War, Army Deaths Up

Toll Reflects Stalemate in Aleppo

by Jason Ditz, November 06, 2012

Calculating a death toll for Syria is no easy task, with the UN having long since given up on the task and the Syrian state media no longer reporting even a fraction of the fighting ongoing. The Syrian Network for Human Rights is still trying, however.

And the interesting thing from their tolls is that near as they can figure deaths have actually slowed down from their peak in August, with September and October more or less flat. This reflects a decrease in deaths reported in Aleppo Province.

Which may be surprising, since neither side ever won and Aleppo is still hotly contested. But after fighting for the city began in earnest, it quickly stalemated and despite a lot of fire being traded, the death tolls aren’t nearly what they were when both sides thought victory was imminent.

Another figure from the report is likely even more controversial, claiming that more Syrian soldiers have died in the fighting than rebels in the past month. Since some rebel factions regularly fold their own deaths into the “civilian” toll, this may be the toughest number of all to reliably figure.

It is noteworthy that among the reported rebel deaths, only a small portion are actually military defectors fighting for the Free Syrian Army (FSA), which may suggest the rebellion is more made up of irregulars than previously acknowledged.

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