Special to WorldTribune.com
Recently released statistics detail the grim toll of Syria’s civil war: more than 10 percent of the country’s population has either been killed or injured in the past five years. Life expectancy has dropped from 70 to 55.
Statistics generated by the Syrian Center for Policy Research (SCPR) found that more than 470,000 Syrians have been killed since 2011 and another 1.9 million have been injured, the UK’s Guardian reported on Feb. 11.
The SCPR’s numbers are significantly higher than those published by the United Nations, which stopped counting the casualty rate a year and a half ago when the number reached a quarter million.
According to the SCPR, “11.5 percent of the entire Syrian population has been killed or injured” since the conflict started.
One fifth of the Syrian population has emigrated to Turkey or to Europe via Turkey. Some 45 percent of the population who have remained in the country have moved from one location to another, often multiple times, in order to avoid battle zones, the SCPR report said.
The poverty rate in Syria has soared to over 85 percent of the population. Damage to the Syrian economy is estimated at over $255 billion.
Meanwhile, President Bashar Assad’s army, backed by the Russian air force and Hizbullah fighters, have begun a siege on Aleppo in which over 500 people have been killed in the past 10 days, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.
“The siege has caused tens of thousands of Syrians to flee and head to the Turkish border in an attempt to cross into Turkey,” the Observatory said. The Turkish border remains closed, but Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan did not rule out taking in the refugees at some point.