Syria Death Toll for 2019 Lowest in Civil War

Observatory: 11,215 killed in the past year

According to data gathered by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, 11,215 people were killed in Syria over the course of 2019, and this was the fewest killed in any single year of the entire Syrian Civil War.

That is still a substantial number killed, reflecting some fighting in the east, Turkey’s invasion of the northeast, and fighting between Syrian forces and al-Qaeda in and around Idlib Province. The Observatory estimated 3,473 civilians among the slain.

The drop-offs have been substantial, however, with just under 20,000 killed in 2018, and 33,000 killed in 2017. At the peak of the war, 76,000 were estimated killed in a single year. While fighting is fierce in parts of Syria, some parts seem to see little violence anymore.

A full resolution of the war may not be at hand, however, with Turkish forces still in the country’s north, al-Qaeda still in Idlib, and the Trump Administration still determined to take Syria’s oil. Barring any blow-ups, it’s likely violence will continue to trend downward, but there is no obvious endgame yet.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.