Measuring Syria's Violence

Gathering reliable information on Syria, which remains off-limits to most journalists and human rights workers, remains a challenge. On Nov. 8, a spokesman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights said that more than 3,500 people had been killed in Syria since the unrest broke out in March.

The data used here was taken from the Violations Documenting Center in Syria, which is affiliated with the activist Local Coordination Committees inside the country. While different organizations' data may vary slightly on a given day, the broad trends of the information are accurate, and provide a useful sense of how the revolt is evolving.

For a sense of scale, Foreign Policy looked at the Arab Spring uprisings and other violent protest movements. The death toll from Bahrain is taken from the Bahrain Center for Human Rights; the Tunisian death toll is an estimate from the U.N. special rapporteur; the Egyptian death toll is from an Egyptian fact-finding committee; the death toll for Israelis and Palestinians during the Second Intifada is from the Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem (and covers from September 2000 to January 2005); the death toll for U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan is taken from the independent casualty-counting website iCasualties; and the death toll estimate for the Libyan conflict is a range cited by U.S. Ambassador to Libya Gene Cretz.


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