Conflicts & War

Syria records lowest civilian death toll since beginning of war, NGO says

Beirut, 1 Jun (efe-epa).- At least 71 civilians were killed in Syria in May, a record low since the war broke out in the Arab country nine years ago, a war monitor reported on Monday.

The civilian casualties continue to decrease since a ceasefire was implemented in the northwestern Syrian in March.

Among the civilians killed last month are seven children and as many women, according to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights that has a wide network of collaborators on the ground.

A total of 27 civilians were killed in separate attacks across the country, while 15 died in blasts caused by mines or explosive devices, including five children, the observatory said.

The NGO documented a total of 291 deaths in the last month, including fighters, soldiers and militias belonging to different forces involved in the conflict.

The troops loyal to President Bashar Assad had the lion’s share of the deaths as 89 people were killed, according to the source.

No official media has confirmed these figures.

The group of Hurras al-Din, considered to be the new Al-Qaeda branch in Syria, launched the most violent attack on the pro-Assad forces on 10 May leaving 30 people dead, the observatory added.

Hurras al-Din, Guardians of the Religion, has not respected the truce agreed by Turkey, which supports the opposition, and Russia, one of the regime’s main allies.

This decrease comes after a ceasefire implemented since 6 March in Idlib and its outskirts in northwestern Syria, considered to be the opposition’s last stronghold.

Despite the reduction in the number of deaths, the United Nations Office for Humanitarian Affairs in Syria warned in its most recent report issued on 29 May that “the humanitarian situation for people in northwest Syria remains alarming.”

“While hostilities between Government of Syria forces and non-state armed groups (NSAGs) in northwest Syria have been limited since the announcement of a ceasefire on 5 March, incidents between non-state armed groups, and between armed groups and civilians are increasingly reported in northern Aleppo governorate and in the Idleb area.”

Rebels and Islamists are active in Idlib, including the Organization for the Liberation of the Levant, an alliance in which the ex-Syrian affiliate of al Qaeda is included. EFE-EPA


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