DAMASCUS: More than 140,000 people have been killed and at least 500,000 wounded in Syria’s three-year conflict, which has also displaced millions of people and devastated the economy.
Key figures follow on the casualties and damage in the conflict, which started in March 2011 with peaceful protests for reform but soon escalated into all-out civil war after the government launched a brutal crackdown on dissent.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said in February that at least 140,041 people had been killed since March 2011 on both sides of the conflict. The toll from the Britain-based group, which relies on a network of contacts inside Syria, includes 49,951 civilians, among them 7,626 children and 5,064 women.
At least half a million more people have been wounded, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross.
The Observatory says 17,000 people are missing and “tens of thousands” are held in regime prisons.
REFUGEES AND DISPLACED
The United Nations says Syrians are about to displace Afghans as the world’s largest refugee population, with UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres saying 2.5 million Syrians have now registered as refugees with UNHCR in neighboring countries in the Middle East.
More than 957,000 of them are in Lebanon.
An additional 584,000 refugees are in Jordan, 634,000 in Turkey, 226,000 in Iraq and 134,000 in Egypt, according to U.N. figures.
Some 6.5 million have been displaced within Syria itself.
MATERIAL DAMAGE AND ECONOMIC CONSEQUENCES
The International Committee of the Red Cross has warned the situation in Syria is “catastrophic,” urging greater field access for aid.
According to the United Nations the situation is “critical,” with 40 percent of hospitals destroyed and 20 percent of the others not functioning properly. Syria’s GDP has fallen more than 35 percent, while the local currency has lost 80 percent of its value.
Oil Minister Suleiman Al-Abbas said in mid-February oil production has plunged by 96 percent since the start of the uprising, with most wells now in rebel-held areas.