[JURIST] The death toll in the three-year Syrian conflict has exceeded 150,000, a British-based human rights group announced on Tuesday. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) [advocacy website], 150,344 persons have died since the uprising began in March 2011. The death toll includes 51,212 civilians, including 7,985 children and 5,266 women. The numbers do not include the 18,000 detainees in regime prisons or the “thousands who disappeared during regime raids and massacres.” SOHR estimates that the non-Syrian casualties to be approximately 70,000 more than the documented number, “due to the extreme discretion by all sides of the human losses caused by the conflict and due to the difficulty of communication in Syria.” Finally, SOHR called on [Facebook post] both sides to peaceably end the conflict:
Despite our loss of hope in an international community capable and willing to put an end to the ongoing atrocities in Syria, we in the Syrian Observatory call upon all sides that claim to depend the freedoms of the people and their rights, to take a serious and responsible stance in order to end the bloodshed in Syria amid the increasing violence and the escalating number of casualties.
The Syrian Civil War [JURIST backgrounder] has persisted for more than three years and has been marked by human rights violations. Last month, a panel of UN human rights experts announced [JURIST report] a new investigative report [text, PDF] describing violence in Syria by both rebel and government forces in recent months. According to the UN report, the number of recorded casualties is now in excess of one hundred thousand. Earlier in March, the UN Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic urged [JURIST report] the international community to respond to the recurring crimes against humanity perpetrated by both government and non-government entities. Also in March, the human rights group Amnesty International [advocacy website] accused [JURIST report] Syrian president Bashar al-Assad’s forces of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity on Palestinian and Syrian civilians in Yarmouk, on the outskirts of Damascus. In February UN human rights experts reported that pro-Government and opposition forces are both responsible [JURIST report] for committing war crimes in Syria.