Mortar Shelling Has Killed Over 3,000 Syrian Civilians

Thousands killed by mortar shelling since the start of the Syrian crisis, with the majority being civilian casualties

The use of mortars in the Syrian conflict has led to the deaths of 3,105 people, mostly civilians, with a majority of casualties killed by regime forces.


Regime mortar shelling killed 1,487 people (1,460 of whom were civilians with only 27 militants), while opposition mortars fire killed 1,414 civilians, with Kurdish forces killing 34, and other militant groups claiming 170 deaths.


Regime forces were first to use mortars in the bombing of Douma city on August 1, 2011. Regime forces later expanded their use of mortars in all Syrian provinces. Following the arming of the Syrian opposition, mortars were amongst the first weapons used, highly regarded for their easy mobility and simple use.


The number of victims by regime shelling is as follows:

Homs – 466
Damascus and its Countryside – 427
Aleppo – 184
Idleb – 118
Deir-ez-Zor – 113
Daraa – 103
Raqqa – 53
Hassakah –8
Hama – 7
Lattakia – 5
Suweida – 3

Of the mortars launched by armed opposition factions, 381 children and 258 women were killed – most in the provinces of Aleppo, Damascus and its countryside.


The number of victims opposition shelling is as follows:

Aleppo – 721 (51% of the total victims)
Damascus and its countryside – 448 victims (32% of total victims)
All other Syrian governorates – 245

April 2014 was the bloodiest month on record, as the number of mortar shelling victims rose tremendously, reaching 217 civilians – including 55 children, and 38 women.


Mortars used by the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) forces caused the death of 34 civilians, including 13 children, and one woman.


Mortars launched by militant groups killed 170 civilians, including 41 children and 24 women – while ISIS mortar shelling killed 156 civilians, including 37 children and 21 women. Nusra Front shelling killed 14 civilians, including four children and three women.

Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer

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