The Body Count In Syria


A new report (pdf) estimates it at around 60,000. Ackerman discusses the difficulty of tallying up deaths in wartime:

The brutal truth is that no one really knows how many Syrians have died in dictator Bashar Assad’s brutal crackdown: Warzone death estimates are notoriously imprecise. By its own admission, the death toll compiled by the human rights tech group Benetech, on behalf of the UN, is inaccurate. But its assessment has the virtue of specificity, a factor that preempts some of the doubts raised about mortality estimates in other warzones. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, called the study  “a work in progress, not a final product.”

(Photo: The body of a Syrian soldier lies outside the infantry academy that was taken over by rebels in the town of Fafeen just north of the city of Aleppo on December 16, 2012. By JM Lopez/AFP/Getty Images)