Sunday, 30 June 2013
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights
"The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has documented 100,191 casualties since the beginning of the uprisings in 18/3/2011, from the first casualty in Dera'a, up till 24/06/2013."
Patrick Cockburn claimed in his most recent Independent/Counterpunch piece that these figures show that Syria is six of one and half a dozen of the other. He does recount the figures accurately, but this comment puts them in a more complete context.
"All these unsubstantiated declarations of large numbers killed in rebel massacres, ignoring the massacres by regime and pro-regime forces, as well as the long-standing systematic tortures of civilians by the regime, is effectively propaganda in favour of one of the (if not the) most brutal regimes in the planet. The larger number of soldiers dying results from the generalised opposition by the population, including by rebel soldiers, and probably counts many soldiers killed because they were (at least suspected of) attempting or wanting to desert. Without inside knowledge, we can't know why they died, but there have been numerous reports of recent deserters being summarily executed. The rebellion contains fighters from all religious and ethnic communities, any of which could have killed soldiers. Another factor is unsure. Only some essentially Alawite units are trusted to fight the rebellion. The units are constantly in battle against the rebels. With fatigue, they are more likely to make fatal errors."