How the death toll in Syria has been reported.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights recently released figures suggesting that, of the purported 100’000 or so people who have been killed in the Syrian civil war since 2011, roughly 42% were pro-government fighters, 36% were civilians, and 18% were armed rebels. That is, most of the dead *aren’t* civilians. A previous UN estimate, based in part on the SOHR’s figures, came up with a figure of 90’000 dead, but said ‘The status of the victims as combatants or non-combatants is unknown for all but a few records’.

That hasn’t stopped numerous corporate media outlets reporting that the most of the dead are, in fact, civilians. A few examples:

‘This war has lasted for more than two years and 90,000 mainly non-combatant civilians have already died’.

The Evening Standard, June 2013

‘The UN’s new estimate that 93,000 people, mostly civilians, have died in the conflict further intensifies the genuine anguish’.

The Guardian, June 2013

‘More than 90,000 civilians have died in the two-year civil war’.

USA Today, June 2013

‘after more than two years and 90,000 civilian deaths’.

The Washington Post, June 2013

‘More than 90,000 civilians have been killed in the worsening civil conflict, now in its third year’.

The Boston Globe, June 2013

Strange how they all make the same, U.S./U.K. government narrative enforcing error, isn’t it?

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