Nearly 500,000 People Have Died in Syria Since 2011
Today marks the seventh anniversary of the Syrian Civil War.
Seven years after the start of the Syrian Civil War, the carnage is unrelenting.
Since the conflict began in 2011, as many as half a million have been killed, according to statistics from the Syrian Center for Policy Research — with another 13 million people displaced by the conflict.
Yet, Al Jazeera reports, there’s “no end in sight.”
In Eastern Ghouta, a suburb of Damascus, more than 250 civilians were killed in one day in February — leading UNICEF to issue a chilling blank statement to point out the lack of action being taken by the international community to stem the violence. Since Feb. 19, more than 1,500 have died. Malnutrition is on the rise, and food aid is being actively blocked from reaching the area.
The humanitarian crisis triggered by the war in Syria is equally profound, especially for children. Within Syria, nearly 2 million children are out-of-school and 3 million face malnutrition, according to the International Rescue Committee.
The crisis began in 2011, when pro-democracy rebels rose up against the Syrian government — led by Bashar Al-Assad. Fighting spread to major cities, including Damascus and Aleppo, in 2012.
Deaths peaked in late 2012, leading to a massive refugee crisis that remains to this day — as more than 5 million Syrians have fled to neighboring countries, as well as Europe, the United States, and other countries around the world. An additional 6 million Syrians are internally displaced.
Repeated attempts to broker peace have failed, including most recently in December of last year. This past week, US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley hinted at possible military action if the conflict continues.
As the war drags on, some experts worry that the public has begun to numb to the seemingly endless onslaught of statistics, images, and cries for action.
“All of the footage I am looking at today looks the same as the footage I saw a year ago and it’s the same dust, and blood, and screaming, and hospital rooms and hospital floors,” Ethar El-Katatney, the executive producer of AJ+, Al Jazeera’s video offshoot, told BuzzFeed News. “It has become normalized.”
But aid groups such as the International Rescue Committee, UNICEF, and others continue to call on the international community to take action.
Global Citizen campaigns on the Global Goals for Sustainable Development, and ensuring peace, justice, and strong institutions is goal number 16. You can join us and continue to call on the US to welcome Syrian refugees here.
You can also read about 15 ways you can help Syrian refugees right now — and take action to help stem the crisis.