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The New Arab

Tens of thousands of women killed in Syria's war

Syrian women have paid a heavy price for the war [AFP file photo]

Date of publication: 9 March, 2017

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Up to 23,502 women have been killed in Syria's war, according to the Syrian Network for Human Rights, a monitoring group.
Up to 23,502 women have been killed in Syria's war, according to the Syrian Network for Human Rights, a monitoring group.

A report published by the SNHR to mark International Women's Day on Wednesday said 91 percent of the female casualties died in attacks carried out by the Syrian regime or its allies, including 763 who were killed by regime-affiliated snipers.

Around 65 percent, the report said, were killed in airstrikes.

"The abuses [against women] have fuelled the disintegration of Syrian society and exacerbated displacement," it said.

The report says 7,571 women are detained in Syria, most of whom forcibly disappeared -- 6711 by the regime, 921 by rebel factions and 357 by groups like Islamic State and Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, in addition to 1166 by Kurdish factions.

The New Arab has not authenticated these figures.

SNHR's report enumerated the types of what it said are crimes and abuses targeting women in Syria, led by extrajudicial killing, sexual violence, torture, abduction, arbitrary detention and displacement.

Syrian women played a leading role in the rebellion against the regime, as well as taking active roles in social, relief, media and advocacy work. According to human rights monitors, women have been targeted by the warring parties as part of a deliberate war tactic in Syria.

The Syrian conflict began when the Baath regime, in power since 1963 led by President Bashar al-Assad, responded with military force to peaceful protests demanding democratic reforms during the Arab Spring wave of uprisings, triggering an armed rebellion fuelled by mass defections from the Syrian army.

According to independent monitors, hundreds of thousands of civilians have been killed in the war, mostly by the regime and its powerful allies, and millions have been displaced both inside and outside of Syria.

The brutal tactics pursued mainly by the regime, which have included the use of chemical weapons, sieges, mass executions and torture against civilians have led to war crimes investigations.

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