Most Reported Deaths in Syria Have Not Been Committed By Assad Regime

John Glaser, April 16, 2014

The one idea interventionists have to solve the Syrian conflict is to eliminate the Assad regime. Regime change is the solution to the humanitarian calamity, they reason, because the Assad is the one doing all the killing. As Sen. John McCain has repeatedly yelped, “The fact is Bashar Assad has massacred 100,000 people.”

Actually, he hasn’t. According to SOHR data cited by Micah Zenko and Amelia M. Wolf of the Council on Foreign Relations, “most of the reported deaths in Syria have not been committed by forces under Bashar al-Assad’s command.”

While noting “the potential bias and the methodological challenges” of the data, Zenko and Wolf show that, despite depictions of the Syrian civil war as a regime indiscriminately killing its civilians, “more pro-regime forces than civilians have been killed during the Syrian civil war.”

Syria-Stats

There are two noticeably provocative elements of SOHR’s estimates. First, while estimates for rebel force casualties were a separate category in SOHR’s previous estimates, SOHR has now included rebel force casualties (24,275) within civilian casualties, totaling 75,487. Above, rebel forces have been listed separately, which reveals that, according to SOHR’s estimates, more pro-regime forces than civilians have been killed during the Syrian civil war.

The Syrian civil war is a messy, multi-sided conflict in which civilians have been killed by all sides and in which combatants make up most of the reported deaths. Zenko made this same point back in September, when an earlier data set on the Syrian death count was released. “The types of interventions that proponents have endorsed for Syria…have almost nothing to do with how Syrian non-combatants are actually being killed,” he wrote.

Obviously, this does not excuse the Assad regime’s many war crimes or lessen its evil brutality, which does include killing and torturing civilians. But the indexed estimated death count paints a very different picture of the conflict than the one described by Washington’s most vocal interventionists. A common policy proposal to mitigate the mass suffering in Syria is for the U.S. to help the rebels and undermine the Assad regime, a scheme that just becomes ludicrous after looking at the data.

Update: This post should be absorbed along with the news that Syrian opposition fighters now have U.S.-made anti-tank missiles given to them by Saudi Arabia with Washington’s consent.




29 Responses to “Most Reported Deaths in Syria Have Not Been Committed By Assad Regime”

  1. I'am sure McCain is going to swear he has never seen a YouTube video of rebels be heading civilians, including women being shot and dump in pits.

  2. They have anti tank missiles now? That reminds me of when the US gave stinger missiles to the mujaheddin. We all know how that turned out.

  3. If torturing civilians made American officials mad, they would simply prosecute themselves and their predecessors. Assad is a gnat compared to the Americans.

  4. An important note on the torturing. Official documents have already proven that the CIA sent many terror suspects to Damascus to be tortured by the Assad regime as part of the “War on Terror”. Any finger pointing in regards to torture by the Assad regime by US politicians to support a pretext for intervention, should be reminded of this inconvenient truth.

  5. If American officials cared about killing and torturing civilians, they'd prosecute themselves and their predecessors. Assad is a victim, a gnat, compared to the Americans.

  6. […] Most Reported Deaths in Syria Have Not Been Committed By Assad Regime via John Glaser @ Antiwar.com […]

  7. McCain simply feel sorry for his friend, the ones that he took his life time photo opportunity with, he wanted to show to Saudis and other barbarians that he is THE loyal figuring in the US senate and they can count on him blaming everything on the other side, as long as he can have a "relation" with those whom are asking him to do more, we are losing this war.

  8. Sorry old man.This war was lost a long time ago. Obama and McCain have been smoking too much "pot"

  9. […] […]

  10. […] http://antiwar.com/blog/2014/04/16/most-reported-deaths-in-syria-have-not-been-committed-by-assad-re… […]

  11. He carried out the US army mantra with relished in Vietnam "KILL ANYTHING THAT MOVES"

  12. McCain has yet to meet a war he didn't like, and wants American troops on the ground in all.

  13. "'We' are losing this war"? Hardly. The Syrian people are losing this war between a brutal regime and a variety of equally brutal "rebel" factions. The factions have reached the point where they are mainly at war with each other.

  14. SOHR is the source of FSA they take a 0 from their losses and take it to SAA, no more than 25 000 syrian soldiers died. In every battle they have atleast 1-5 kill ratio

  15. What exactly are Martyr Dissidents?
    Why are Rebel forces listed under Civilians?

    Also, I don't understand the math here:
    51212+2286+11220+57511+364+605+2871
    =126069

    where did the number 150344 come from?
    looks like the Rebel Forces 24275 was added twice.

    Also, Under the Civilian category, of the Women, Children and the strangely labeled 'Other' which I assume has to me non-combative men, how many were killed by the anti-Assad-Forces?

    If we assumed 50% were killed by anti-Assad-forces that would be about 13400

    That would mean that out of 126000 that were killed roughly 74400 were killed by anti-Assad-forces. Thats 60% to 40% ratio of kills by anti vs pro Assad. In other words kills by anti-Assad-forces are 150% those of pro-Assad-forces

    Finally with the rebel-vs-rebel in fighting how many of the anti-Assad-forces were not killed by pro-Assad forces. This number will further add to the number of those killed by anti-Assad-forces vs the pro-Assad-forces

  16. You also give the most advanced weapons grass to a certain chitty country in the middle east. it is used predominately to kill women and children. Where's the outrage? But I agree with you those Al-Qaeda terrorists should receive nothing, but do not forget they were created by the US and trained by the CIA.

  17. There wouldn't be a war if NATO and GCC governments weren't committing the ICC crime of foreign aggression against Syria. For which they'll never be prosecuted because Interpol is located in France, the ICC is located in the Netherlands, and the UN is located in the US. And these organizations are controlled by the host nations to further predatory NATO hegemony wars and criminal regime change operations that are responsible for most of the war on this planet. So blaming Syria as a victim state for war deaths is absurd when the war would be over tomorrow if NATO and the GCC would stop fueling it with money, weapons, political support, and mercenaries, over 10,000 of which have been killed by the Syrian government.

  18. This conflict would have been over a long time ago, and there would have been far fewer deaths, if the US had minded its own business. Far from being the "arsenal of democracy", the US has devolved into the arsenal of tyranny and carnage.

  19. Every time I find myself hating Obama, I think back to '08 and realize that we could have gotten "bomb Iran" McCain. As bad as it is now, imagine if this senile old man had his finger on the button.

  20. What’s up, I log on to your blog daily. Your writing style is
    witty, keep up the good work!

  21. You assholes as with your limited knowledge and backwards thinking can stfu. Talk with a few Syrians before you liken what is happening to 9 million in neef of aid right now. Where were your opinions 2 years ago? How bout when 11,000 were tortured in Assad prisons? Or during one of the 30 gas attacks? You all make me sick with your ignorant, apathetic privileged lives. This war has always been on a 43 year old oppressor

  22. How about if the US just abided by Rule of International Law?!!
    A 101 Recap ..since International Law has for so long fallen into disuse :
    – It is a crime to aid and abet terrorists
    – It is a crime to invade a sovereign nation
    – It is a crime to interfere in the business of sovereign nation
    It is also grossly amoral to apply sanctions on a nation so that it cannot import even powdered milk – then demanding "Humanitarian Passages" so that arms and alms can be delivered to terrorists.

    So where are the funds being frozen and censure of bankrollers Saudi, Qatar and now Kuwait?
    Where is the prosecution of those recruiting, providing safe passage, safe houses, finest Marine training, special services and electronic military support, hospitals, lethal weaponry, logistic co-ordination, intel and support etc etc of Wahhabi savage Al Queda affiliated jihadi's? .. or prosecution for bombardment of Syria >10x, at least 1x suspected of being thermo nuclear; or of those who planned, supported and staged the false flag Ghouta gassing … And aren't there Geneva conventions governing propaganda and conduct of a media mafia complicit in the long planned Syrian war using proxy forces?

    Ahh … but at the top of the War Criminal list are 3 of the UNSC members – 2 being repeat repeat repeat war criminal nations US-UK … and then the REAL Axis of Evil Alliance of US-F-UKers + Saudi-Israel + Turkey-NATO and other lackeys Jordan training and launching point, and US occupied Qatar.

    And ten there is the small matter of Kerry's determination to insall a puppet of ex drug runner, brothel owner, hired assassin, fake degree papers, traitor and Islamist terrorist thug on a secular nation.

  23. How many of the civilian "women, children, other" were killed by the liver eating, decapitating, jihadi briding, Adra oven cooking people live, Ghouta gassing, Assyrian village and many other civilian massacres … versus what US would call 'collateral damage' in ASSYMETRIC URBAN TERRORISM WARFARE?

    That sure brings the notion of 'a brutal dictator killing his people' down to a rather less emotive number – particularly when considered against e.g. 500 000 Iraqi children's deaths attributed to US sanctions – and considered fine and dandy by Mad Allbright, or the 1 million dead Iraqi's in the war – and a daily death toll persisting to this day.

    And whilst the maths doesn't add up to the media mafia purported 'brutal regime wantonly killing his people' – neither does the gratuitous and very American parroting of " Assad regime’s many war crimes or lessen its evil brutality," ….
    So my message to John Glasser : WHAT WAR CRIMES?
    – If you still believe the Ghouta gassing story – I recommend you do a little journalistic research and find at least 10 credible sources proving that it was YET AGAIN a US-NATO false flag pretext for war.(Let me help you : 1. Find Seymour Hersh trilogy of intel reports and a Red line Rat line book on US-Saudi-Turkey setting up the gassing of Syrians;
    2. Look for MIT trajectory studies – yes, your prestigious Massachusetts Inst of Technology proving that the gas came from terrorist held area;
    3. UN Chemical inspectors INDEPENDENT studies and reports – same conclusion as MIT
    4. Hacked emails I) US intelligence colonel Anthony McDonald discussing the false flag success; reassuring his wife the pis were fake ii) US propagandist / terrorist agent Matt Vandyke discussing need for gas masks as his terrorist buddies have gas iii) (Not verified) British mercenary company Britcam Defence discussing proposal to run the US sanctioned Qatar paid false flag operation
    5. Turkish court records of terrorists arrested for procuring ingredients for a chemicals attack AND btw ON UN RECORD FROM LAST YEAR – Syrin govt warning that a chlorine factory had been taken over and was being used by terrorists .. so the latest "Chlorine attacks" are infact on Syrian amy!!! – GO DO YOUR HOMEWORK!
    6. YouTube video of the trial run gassing of rabbits – NOT by Syrian army, but by US-F-Ukers proxy army of Wahhabi savages
    7. Italian and French reporters in Syria to support the non 'Revolution' until they were kidnapped by the Wahhabi savages – reporting on conversations overheard planning the gassing attacks (of course they were hastily shut up by their msm employees)
    8. Carla Del Ponte UN report and youtube interviews on findng the terrorists were using gas pre-Ghouta false flag
    9. Even the non-report of the UN could not cover up the fact that multiple gassings done on Syrian army
    10. Mother Miriam analysis and local knowledge – and good old fashioned CUI BONO : Why would Pres. Assad gas Allawites on the eve of UN inspectors eventually arriving at his insistence – and cross a 'red line' inviting bombardment? .. and yes, se was mocked, discredited in your press, and booted off an Anti War UK meeting by that 'Dirty Wars' gatekeeper and profiteer … but she is owed an apology from y'all imo.

    Or do you mean using heavy barrel bombs are war crimes? Then I guess it is for an old blonde lass from Africa to teach you about Assymetric Urban Warfare – and TUNNEL BUSTING. You see – 101 of Urban terrorism is that the terrorists burrow like rats under roads and buildings …. ok … I trust you got it – and can go back to the number of ACTUAL collateral damage and do a little rethink.

    Then there is the matter of this terminology of "Assad Regime". GET REAL AND GET RESPECTFUL!!! Do you imagine a hated, brutal dictator would inspire men, women in regular and voluntary armed forces from Sunni, Shia, Allawite, Assyrian, Jews, Christians, Druze, autonomous Kurds etc etc to fight like tigers for 4 years against all odds? How long do you think e.g. Cameron would inspire that loyalty before the Scottish or Welsh turned against him? And your own Odious Obama?
    So henceforth, may I disrespectfully suggest that you quit parroting the media mafia propaganda terminology and start getting real : It is President al Assad of the Syrian government in an UNCIVIL war against a hired thin veneer of malcontent 'FSA' armed insurrectionists, and an invading proxy army of US-F-Ukers Wahhabi savage al Queda affiliated TERRORISTS.

    "Rebels" is a term for teenagers with pimples and hormonal problems, and the romantic notion of 'Rebels fighting a noble war against an evil dictator" has contributed directly to attracting 10 000's of jihadi's from over 80 countries – bearded and in plain sight travelling to Syria …. which is a story in itself for an investigative journalist who might wonder what the vast investment in NSA-GCHQ-5 Eyes and a network of 'War on Terror' agents … or is it a War OF Terror being waged by US?
    Thank you.

  24. You're welcome. Glad you got that off your chest.

  25. So am I Thomas – and trust you fully took on board what the uber-criminal 'US Regime' is up to, AND above all, recognise how pathetically peely wally your so called "Anti War" front is.

    You see, whilst it may all be a mildly amusing sport to y'all, the conduct of the Depraved State of America in this world is akin to a serial paedophile rapist priest – and that is the legacy your children will bear.
    Feared – but reviled and not respected.
    Forever targeting smaller and weaker nations to gorge it's insatiable carnal lust for power and blood;
    using bribery, honey-pots, manipulation and coercion to seduce it's victim;
    if that doesn't work, like some perverted paedophile priest – sermonises as a 'Moral Authority', vilifies, isolates and sanctions the victim;
    then when sufficiently weakened – goes in to take by overwhelming brute force. Typically preferring a gang rape like the craven Lord of the Flies act that it is, or nowadays – sends in proxy Wahhabi savages or 4th Reich Nazi fascists
    then the Depraved State of America takes it's trophy and plunders the wealth of the victim – leaving it broken and demented for decades to come, under the 'care' of a hired puppet gang member – whilst it stands on the pulpit intoning "The rape was good for you -and you enjoyed it".

    And you 'Anti War' family members acquiesce to this – rationalising WITHOUT ANALYSIS, CRITICAL THINKING OR FUNDAMENTAL KNOWLEDGE OF THE VICTIM : "Well, the victim was a nasty brutal dictator committing war crimes, had no right to defend itself so it's destruction is it's own fault".

  26. Dee,

    Well, I was trying to be nice and jolly, but I guess I have to pop the question:

    Do you not actually READ Antiwar.com, or are you an idiot, or both? Those would appear to be the only three options.

    Antiwar.com opposes US intervention in Syria — direct or indirect, whether it be by mere propaganda or by funding, arming or actually putting troops on the ground.

    Nobody at Antiwar.com has said that the (unlikely, but perhaps possible) destruction of the Assad regime is "its own fault."

    But maintaining those positions does not require us to pretend that Assad is anything but what he is — a murderous Ba'athist tyrant who is little, if any, better than the people he's fighting.

  27. READ MY CRITCISM OF THIS ARTICLE!!! … and comprehend.

    Do you actually read the Anti War articles here? And if you do – do you stop to question the mindless moronic parroting of the propaganda : "Obviously, this does not excuse the Assad regime’s many war crimes or lessen its evil brutality, which does include killing and torturing civilians."

    I ask again : WHAT WAR CRIMES?
    WHAT EVIL BRUTALITY?
    WHAT DELIBERATE KILLING OF CIVILIANS?
    WHAT TORTURING OF CIVILIANS?

    So whilst you may be pointing a finger in confused syntax of "or are you an idiot, or both", please take a look at your own utter "nice and jolly" ignorance:

    "a murderous Ba'athist tyrant who is little, if any, better than the people he's fighting".

    There you go – like the paedophiles son – rationalising and blaming the victim!
    You have clearly swallowed the propaganda hook line and sinker, with TOTAL ignorance / of :
    1. The make up of the current Syrian govt – it's completely SECULAR, non-gender biased and MERITOCRACY make up. (Go do some research).
    2. The make up of the similarly secular, non-gender biased regular and volunteer armed services
    3. The probably 80% popularity of President al Assad amongst Syrians (What level of popularity does Obama, Cameron, Hollande et al command … and in American 'democracy' joke – is 100% support required to avoid a label of "murderous tyrant"?)
    3. Are you able to do a little analysis of e.g. General Ramsey Clarke's "7 countries in 5 years" and connect the dots of commonality on why selected m.east countries were put on the 'Axis of Evil' – also know in the vastly greater 'International Community' as 'The Axis of Resistance' ?
    Let me assume the matrix world of 'merican mainstream media mafia precludes this sort of critical reasoning or research – so here is a clue :
    – Saddam's WMD was a desire to be paid in Euro's and not the useless petro $. Iraq Reserve bank was independent of international banksters / IMF / World bank. His "murderous Ba'athist tyranical' govt was highly supportive of Palestine, and critical of a borderless suppurating genociding perpetually annexing carbuncle of imported perpetual schmuck soldiers n that grand m.east military base for Anglo American Empire.
    – Gaddafi -even more 'criminal' in his desire for creating a Gold Dinar and African Bank to break the stranglehold of plunder and impoverishment wreaked by Anglo American Empire and world banksters. He too was 'Palestine Supportive'.
    – Iran : Do I need to spell out their independent reserve bank and criticism of a suppurating land grabbing WMD armed carbuncle in the vicinity?
    – Syria : You use the term 'Ba'athist' as some sort of a disease. Do you now the ethos of it? Do you think that it is fine and dandy that Golan Hts remains annexed regardless of scores of UN resolutions declaring it illegal, and annual (useless) vote by UNGA against the annexation? Do you know the Syrian history of taking in the Palestinian refugees and giving them 100% support as the not-so-quiet genocide goes on there?
    As for 'murderous tyrant' : Please try clear your head of the GM information diet you are fed. You are showing severe signs of mental constipation – even in light of the statistical analysis presented in the article and my own further input on the matter.
    You may like to research too which countries have reserve banks not yet owned and controlled by the world banksters. Syria is one of the last remaining.

    I could add a great deal more – but no doubt this is far longer than a 30second sound bite for you to process.

  28. They have anti tank missiles now? That reminds me of when the US gave stinger missiles to the mujaheddin. We all know how that turned out

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  29. The Crisis in the American-Turkish Relation. A conflict over natural gas in Syria and Iran.
    http://iakal.wordpress.com/2014/11/02/the-crisis-