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Syria war death toll at 470,000: Report

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A Syrian man walks past a damaged car at the site of an attack against a police officers' club in the Masaken Barzeh district of the capital, Damascus, on February 9, 2016. ©AFP

A recent report has disclosed that the number of people who have lost their lives as a result of nearly five years of foreign-sponsored conflict in Syria is far higher than the total figure released by the United Nations.

The Syrian Center for Policy Research reported that 400,000 Syrians have been killed since the outbreak of the crisis as opposed to the latest UN toll of 260,000.

The report added that another 70,000 people have perished due to the lack of adequate health services, food, clean water, sanitation and proper housing, especially for those displaced within conflict zones.

It further noted that Syria’s mortality rate soared from 4.4 per thousand in 2010 to 10.9 per thousand in 2015, and life expectancy plunged from 70 in 2010 to 55.4 in 2015.

The report also put the number of those wounded at 1.9 million, stating that 11.5 percent of Syria’s population has been killed or injured since the crisis broke out in March 2011.

Syrians walk past a stall selling fruit and vegetables in the embattled northwestern Syrian city of Aleppo on February 9, 2016. ©AFP

“We think that the UN documentation and informal estimation underestimated the casualties due to lack of access to information during the crisis,” Rabie Nasser, the author of the report, told The Guardian on Thursday.

Moreover, 6.36 million people have been displaced internally and more than four million others have fled the country since the beginning of the conflict. That accounts for 45 percent of the country’s population, which has shrunk by 21 percent.

About 13.8 million Syrians have also lost their source of income. Poverty increased by 85 percent in 2015 alone and consumer prices rose 53 percent last year.

“Prices in conflict zones and besieged areas are much higher than elsewhere in the country and this boosts profit margins for war traders who monopolize the markets of these regions,” the report said.

A Syrian man sells fuel in Aleppo on February 9, 2016. ©AFP

Additionally, Syria’s infrastructure and institutions have been “almost obliterated” by the “catastrophic impact” of the militancy, and the overall economic losses are estimated at $255 billion.

“Despite the fact that Syrians have been suffering for… five years, global attention to human rights and dignity for them only intensified when the crisis had a direct impact on the societies of developed countries,” the report argued

The conflict “continues to destroy the social and economic fabric of the country with the intensification of international interventions that deepen polarization among Syrians. Human development, rights and dignity have been comprehensively ruined,” it pointed out.

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