Syrian civil war death toll exceeds 190,000, U.N. reports

BY Ayan Sheikh  August 22, 2014 at 2:10 PM EST

The United Nations human rights office announced Friday that the number of people killed since the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011 has more than doubled, with more than 190,000 people reported killed.

With less than a week left until she leaves her post as the UN’s high commissioner for human rights, Navi Pillay voiced her frustration and regret over the high death toll in the troubled country, adding that the lack of action by Western nations has “empowered and emboldened” the killers.

“There are serious allegations that war crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed time and time again with total impunity,” she said, “yet the Security Council has failed to refer the case of Syria to the International Criminal Court, where it clearly belongs.”

The latest death toll figure covers the period from March 2011 to April of this year, came from the Human Rights Data Analysis Group and is the third study of its kind on Syria.

The analysis group identified 191,269 deaths. Data was collected from five different sources to exclude inaccuracies and repetitions. The report counted the bodies of victims identified by name, and included the date and location where they died. The report did not include 52,000 reported deaths due to insufficient data.

The report could not discern between combatants and civilians but it did mention that men accounted for approximately 80 percent of the deaths, while 9.3 percent of the casualties were women.

Pillay has called for “serious measures to halt the fighting and deter the crimes, and above all stop fueling this monumental, and wholly avoidable, human catastrophe through the provision of arms and other military supplies.”