By Claude Salhani -Trend:
The London-based pro-opposition human rights group, The Syrian Observatory, has just released a new estimate of the number of people killed in Syria during the past three years of civil war. The number of people killed is now believed to be around 162,000.
This number is still only an estimate, as the precise figures of those killed will very likely never be known. There are numerous reasons why exact figures are hard to come by as both sides tend to play down the number of casualties they suffer while inflating the numbers of enemies they kill.
Why do they do that? Well, the number of casualties inflicted on the enemy is always good for morale and help boost the front-line combatant's resolve. It's called propaganda.
Still, 162,000 over a period of three years is a huge number given the country's population, estimated to be somewhere between 23 million and just under 18 million, depending on which sources you choose to cite. Aside from inflating some numbers and hiding others, many casualties go unreported for a variety of reasons.
Many strange things happen in a civil war that accounts for unreported casualties. Perhaps orders were disobeyed and killings that should not have taken place were not reported so as to avoid repercussions. Perhaps the numbers simply got lost in a bombing raid. It could be any of a number of reasons. The end result is that there are certainly more casualties than the numbers reported.
In any case assuming the given number of people killed in the Syrian civil war, from April 2011 until April 2014, - 162,000 - is accurate, that means that an average of 54,000 people were killed per year, and every year since 2011.
Or if you care to breakdown the numbers further, they come out to 4,500 killed per month; or yet, 150 per day, every day, or 6.25 people die every hour.
What the report does not mention are the number of people wounded in the fighting. Typically, you can count two-to-three wounded for every single death. In other words, assuming we take the lower estimate of civilian deaths, -- the figure of wounded would be a staggering 486,000, of which some would die, and or require medical help for the rest of their lives.
Add to those depressing numbers the number of refugees created as a result of this war. Again, we are dealing with estimates, and those vary anywhere between four and six million.