Year 2014 saw harvest of death in Syria and Iraq

syriaMore than 76,000 people were killed in Syria’s conflict in 2014, including thousands of children, making it the deadliest year in the nearly four-year war, a monitoring group said Thursday. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said it had documented the deaths of 76,021 people. Of the total, 17,790 were civilians, including 3,501 children.
Additionally, more than 15,000 rebel fighters were killed, as were nearly 17,000 militants.
At least 22,627 government forces — both soldiers and members of pro-government militias — were killed, the Britain-based group said.
Last year’s figure compared with 73,447 in 2013, another 49,294 in 2012 and 7,841 in 2011.
More than 200,000 people have been killed since the conflict began in March 2011 with anti-regime protests that spiraled into a war after a government crackdown.
Meanwhile, violence in Iraq killed more than 15,000 civilians and security personnel in 2014, government figures showed Thursday, making it one of the deadliest years since the 2003 US-led invasion.
Figures compiled by the health, interior and defense ministries put the death toll at 15,538, compared with 17,956 killed in 2007 during the height of Sunni-Shiite sectarian killings.
Last year’s toll was also more than double the 6,522 people killed in 2013.
Iraq Body Count, a Britain-based NGO that tracks violence in Iraq, gave an even higher toll for 2014, saying that 17,073 civilians were killed, which would make it the third deadliest year since 2003.

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