The United Nations says nearly 93,000 people have been confirmed killed in Syria’s war, although it warns the actual figure is probably much higher.
The UN human rights office says the latest toll, which accounted for deaths until the end of April, is most likely a minimum figure.
The U.N. said an average of more than 5,000 people have been killed monthly since last July. Navi Pillay, the U.N.’s top human rights official, said this reflects the “drastically deteriorating pattern of the conflict over the past year.” Pillay’s spokesman, Rupert Colville, said most victims are civilians.
“There are close to six million people displaced. Every one of these killings has relatives, has families, has brothers and sisters. Some of them died horrendous deaths,” he noted, “either under siege for days or weeks or months or from injuries in clinics where they could not be treated properly because there are no drugs or from torture. You name it. I think everyone in Syria is a victim by this point.”
The report said at least 6,500 children have died in the conflict and documented cases of children being tortured and executed along with their families.
With no letup to the fighting, governments backing opposition forces are considering new ways to support the rebellion against embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, with government troops now massing near rebel-held parts of the city of Aleppo.
On Thursday, June 13, the White House said that President Obama is monitoring the situation in Syria, assessing the options available to the United States and its allies and that any further steps will be based on U.S. national interests.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his British counterpart, William Hague, met in Washington Wednesday to discuss the situation.
Kerry said the danger is made worse by Assad’s allies Hezbollah and Iran and that the U.S. is focusing its efforts on supporting “the opposition as they work to change the balance on the ground.” Activists said Syrian rebels battled government troops Thursday for control of a key military base in central Hama province after chasing soldiers out and setting fire to installations there.