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CurrentMiddle East

Syria Saw Lowest Civilian Death Toll This March for First Time in 9 Years

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CurrentMiddle East

Syria Saw Lowest Civilian Death Toll This March for First Time in 9 Years

While it provides a small glimmer of hope that the lowest recorded death toll for civilians has happened in March, the continued death of even a single civilian remains a tragedy.

6

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While it provides a small glimmer of hope that the lowest recorded death toll for civilians has happened in March, the continued death of even a single civilian remains a tragedy.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported on Wednesday that the country has recorded its lowest monthly civilian death toll for the first time in nine years. For the month of March, the Observatory stated that 103 civilians were killed, most of them from shelling and air strikes by the Syrian government while many others killed from explosive remnants or “unexplained assassinations”.

The lowest civilian death toll since the beginning of the Syrian war nine years ago, March saw a hold on fighting from both a temporary ceasefire as well as a nationwide lockdown from the Coronavirus. The temporary ceasefire was between the rebels and the Syrian government in the country’s northwest, after mediation from Russia.

As for COVID-19, Syria has taken strict measures, implementing a nationwide lockdown which may have played a part in the low level of civilian deaths. The Syrian government has claimed that only two people have died from the virus in the country, however many are disputing this and are blaming the government of playing down reports about the actual number of those infected and dying from the virus.

With more than one million Syrians displaced in the heavily fought-over northwestern region of the country, human rights groups are fearing for the fate of the internally displaced amidst the spread of COVID-19. The United Nations has also called upon Syria to implement a nationwide ceasefire to the fighting in order to help contain the virus as well as treat those suspected of infections.

As of now, as the Syrian government continues to ignore the requests of the United Nations and numerous human rights groups, the fate of those caught in the middle of fighting as well as the spread of the Coronavirus remains unknown. With the true numbers of infections and deaths from COVID-19 in Syria unknown, it remains to be seen how affected the country and its civilians will be from the virus.

While it provides a small glimmer of hope that the lowest recorded death toll for civilians has happened in March, the continued death of even a single civilian remains a tragedy. Since the war began in 2011, more than 380,000 people have been killed – and it remains to be seen for how long this tragic war will continue to take the lives of the innocent.

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