‘Huge drop’ in civilian deaths after Syria truce
More than 270,000 people -- among them more than 79,000 civilians -- have died in Syria since its conflict erupted in March 2011
Twenty-four civilians have been killed in the first five days of a landmark truce in parts of Syria, a sharp drop for a war where dozens die daily, a monitor said Thursday.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told AFP that the number, gathered from areas where the ceasefire had come into effect, included five women and six children.
“Compare that number to Friday, the day before the truce came into effect: 63 civilians, including 11 children, died that day alone,” said Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman.
He called it a “huge drop”, adding that the daily average during the month of February was 38 civilians killed.
More than 270,000 people -- among them more than 79,000 civilians -- have died in Syria since its conflict erupted in March 2011.
On Saturday, a ceasefire deal brokered by the United States and Russia came into effect in areas of Syria where ISIS and al-Qaeda’s affiliate al-Nusra Front are not deployed.
The Observatory has recorded a marked drop in fighting across those territories, and AFP correspondents have reported a sharp decline in shelling, rocket attacks and air strikes, despite mutual accusations by the government and rebel sides of intermittent violations.
According to Abdel Rahman, 42 rebel fighters have been killed since the deal came into effect, mostly in the coastal province of Latakia, Hama province in central Syria and the rebel bastion of Eastern Ghouta near Damascus.
Twenty-five government fighters were killed in fighting around Damascus, Latakia and in the northern province of Aleppo, including some who died in clashes with militants.
A total of five combattants from the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) have died since Saturday in clashes with al-Nusra and allied militants in Aleppo city.
Twenty-two militants from al-Nusra and smaller jihadist groups were also killed, half of them in Latakia province and the others in Aleppo.
Fighting is ongoing between ISISand, separately, the YPG and pro-regime forces, but they also fall outside the ceasefire deal.
The Observatory did not have an immediate toll for those clashes.
Nationwide power blackout hits SyriaSyria’s electricity network across the whole of the country was down for unknown reasons Middle East
Syria truce breaches amid mounting refugee crisisIt remains highly unlikely that the ceasefire will bring forth any major shifts in the conflict or promote long-term calm Middle East
U.S. reviews Syria ceasefire hotline after language problemsCallers from the Middle East have found it hard to explain the details of alleged air and artillery strikes Middle East
China’s proxy war in Syria: Revealing the role of Uighur fightersA few months ago, in a remote town in Idlib province, northern Syria, an unusual foreign militant presence alarmed Syrian locals Features