At least 3,825 people were killed in Syria in 2022, the lowest annual toll since the outbreak of the Syrian conflict nearly 12 years ago, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights counted on Saturday.
At the end of last year, the Observatory reported the lowest death toll with more than 3,700 dead, but later documented the names of other deaths in 2021, bringing the toll to 3,882.
The annual death toll has fallen, according to the Observatory, after the cessation of major military operations carried out by Damascus with Russian support. Moscow, which has been supporting regime forces, especially in its air strikes on areas outside its control, has been preoccupied since February with the war in Ukraine.
Record in 2014
The Observatory reported that the toll for 2022 includes 1,627 civilians, including 321 children, noting that among the civilian deaths are 209 children who died as a result of the explosion of mines and explosive remnants of war.
According to the Observatory, 627 members of the regime forces and 217 fighters from pro-regime groups died in 2022.
The Observatory also counted the deaths of about 562 ISIS fighters, 387 Syrian Democratic Forces and their operating formations, as well as 240 opposition faction fighters.
2014 recorded the highest annual toll of the conflict, with the Observatory documenting some 111,000 deaths.
The intensity of the fighting has gradually decreased over the past two years in several areas, especially in Idlib governorate (northwest), where Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra) controls about half of its area and has been in effect since March 2020, under a Turkish-Russian agreement.
The Observatory said the analysis of casualties showed that a large number of victims were killed by lawlessness and chaos, as well as by dozens of strikes by Israel, and by the activity of the Islamic State, especially in the sprawling Syrian desert.
Since the declaration of the elimination of the Islamic State in 2019 in Syria, the group’s fighters, who have retreated mainly to remote areas in the desert, have been conducting operations targeting mainly Kurdish fighters and regime forces.
Large areas of agricultural plains and oil and gas wells remain outside the control of the government, most notably the Kurdish-controlled areas (northeast), areas in Idleb and its surroundings, and others under the control of pro-Ankara factions in the north of the country.
Since it began in 2011, the conflict in Syria has killed nearly half a million people, caused massive destruction to infrastructure and the economy, and driven more than half the population into or out of Syria.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.