Idlib (AFP) – The conflict in Syria killed 3,746 people in 2021, a monitor says, significantly fewer than in 2020, which had already seen the decade-old war’s lowest death toll.
According to figures compiled by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, 1,505 of them were civilians and among those 360 were children.
The figure is by far the lowest tally since the start of the war in Syria and confirms a downward trend that saw 6,800 people killed last year and just over 10,000 in 2019.
The Observatory, an NGO based in the UK but with a network of sources in all regions of Syria, said 297 people were killed in 2021 by landmines and various explosive remnants.
The Landmine Monitor said in November that Syria had overtaken Afghanistan as the country with the highest number of recorded casualties from landmines and explosive remnants of war,
The fighting, which erupted in 2011 after the brutal repression of anti-government protests, has abated over the past two years.
Russian-backed government forces still sporadically strike targets in the northwestern rebel enclave of Idlib but a ceasefire deal has largely held.
Fighters from the Islamic State group who went underground after their “caliphate” was crushed in 2019 have also carried out deadly hit-and-run attacks in eastern Syria.
The war in Syria has killed close to half a million people and spurred the largest conflict-induced displacement since World War II.