The death toll in Syria is breathtaking: Over the past eight months, more Syrians have lost their lives than the number of Palestinians killed over four years of the Second Intifada. The casualty count is now roughly equivalent to the number of U.S. soldiers killed during the entire Iraq war. And the violence shows no sign of letting up. (The civilian death toll in Iraq and Afghanistan, which is measured in the tens and hundreds of thousands, would dwarf all of these figures if included in this chart).
When compared to the other Arab Spring uprisings, only Libya -- which was wracked by a full-fledged civil war and a NATO-led bombing campaign -- has seen more bloodletting than Syria. While Egypt and Tunisia did experience spasms of violence, the death toll was limited by the fact that protesters were able to quickly overcome the ruling regimes and re-establish some semblance of order. In Bahrain, the opposite was true: The monarchy's success in crushing the street protests prevented a longer, potentially more violent uprising and crackdown. (The bloodshed in Yemen is likely the closest equivalent to that in Syria, but no comprehensive casualty statistics exist there. A Yemeni official said in October that 1,480 people had been killed from the time the unrest began in February to Sept. 25.)
Assad's crackdown has appalled the international community, fractured his alliances, and spurred domestic rage that threatens to topple his regime and tear his country apart. And it looks to get worse before it gets any better.