6,000 died in Syria in March, deadliest month yet

BEIRUT — More than 6,000 people were killed in the Syrian civil war in March alone, according to a leading activist group that reported it was the deadliest month yet in the 2-year-old conflict.

The head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said an increase in shelling and clashes around the country led to the high toll, which is incomplete because fighters on both sides tend to underreport their dead.

“Both sides are hiding information,” Rami Abdul-Rahman said by phone from Britain, where he is based. “It is very difficult to get correct info on the fighters because they don’t want the information to hurt morale.”

The increase also likely represents the further spread of the civil war throughout the country.

Clashes continue to rage in the northern city of Aleppo and around the capital Damascus as well as in the central city of Homs.

And in recent weeks, rebels in the southern province of Daraa along the Jordanian border have seized towns and military bases from the government with the help of an increased influx of foreign-funded weapons.

The Observatory, which opposed President Bashar Assad’s regime, said the March dead included 298 children, 291 women, 1,486 rebel fighters and army defectors and 1,464 government soldiers. The rest were unidentified civilians and fighters.

The government does not provide death tolls for the civil war.

That toll solidly beat the second most deadly month, when airstrikes, clashes and shelling killed more than 5,400 people in August 2012, Abdul-Rahman said.

He said his total death toll for the conflict through the end of March is 62,554, a number he said he guessed only reflected about half of the actual dead.

He said many deaths go unreported by the government or rebel fighters and that there are tens of thousands detained in regime and rebel prisons whose fates are not known.

The United Nations said in February that 70,000 people had been killed since the start of the conflict. It has not updated its number since.

More in Local News

A close friendship is lost to fire

An 88-year-old Smokey Point mobile home resident died despite a valiant effort by neighbors.

Jensen Webster sorts through food stuffs at the Sultan High School in Sultan on March 14, 2018. (Kevin Clark / The Daily Herald)
Sultan school children take charge to help their peers

The Sky Valley Youth Coalition has installed pantries at schools so kids can take food home.

Everett woman found dead identified

There were no obvious signs of trauma on the body of Brianna Leigh Nyer.

Two-day event will offer free medical and dental services

The Amen Everett Free Clinic is expected to serve 400 to 500 patients Friday and Sunday.

Everett man admits deadly slashing of 2 Maltby-area women

John Dimitri Kuljis Jr. pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and first-degree assault.

Talks to begin on emergency radio system contract

Motorola Solutions Inc. has been chosen to build a replacement for the current 911 radio system.

State: Secret deal endangers Marysville Strawberry Festival

The “bizarre” agreement promises a former leader up to $175,000 if the group fails to meet his demands.

County Council grills Sound Transit CEO about long timeline

West Seattle and Ballard light-rail extensions will be completed before the main spine to Everett.

Former jail guards sentenced in dehydration death of inmate

During a mental health crisis in 2015, Keaton Farris, 25, wasted away in the Island County Jail.

Most Read