858 people killed, wounded in Syria during April


In April, based on data recorded and analyzed by the Monitoring and Documentation Department at North Press and comparing it with March, Syria witnessed an escalation by 89 percent in terms of security chaos and conflict between the de-facto players; this number reflects a spike in attacks between the conflicting parties across the country. As for human rights violations against civilians, they increased by about 26 percent, and the Islamic State’s (ISIS) activity increased by 20 percent.

The Monitoring and Documentation Department, in its monthly report, addresses the most prominent human rights violations documented and recorded during April based on information the department obtained from a network of field sources in different Syrian parts.

The report reveals the outcome of human rights violations, including killings and arbitrary arrests by the conflicting parties, as well as, statistics on the number of people who lost their lives due to war remnants, which some parties intend to plant on the outskirts of their areas of control in order to protect themselves from attacks.

The report also addresses the indiscriminate shelling by the conflicting parties and its repercussions and damages caused to civilians and public property. It also touches upon ISIS activities, the long lasting living crises that continue to deteriorate, and other issues that affected Syrians and destabilized security and stability during April.


The number of victims of human rights violations in Syria has increased by about 12 percent during April compared to March due to the recent escalation in conflict zones, gun proliferation, and authorities’ complacency with the perpetrators.

The victims toll recorded by the department in the last month amounted to 858 of civilians and military personnel, of whom 425 lost their lives and 433 were injured due to direct targeting, indiscriminate shelling, or as a result of incidents of torture, violence or other forms of inhumane treatment.

All civilians were killed by extrajudicial means at the hands of either the conflicting parties or unknown gunmen. All figures included in this report are a part of the total toll.

The number of civilian casualties reached 541, of whom 255 were killed, including 20 children, 17 women and one activist, and 286 others were wounded, including 28 children and 10 women.

The civilian victims were recorded in several Syrian governorates, with Deir ez-Zor, in eastern Syria, coming at the top of the list with 119 victims, followed by Aleppo with 94, then Daraa with 87, and Hama with 50.

As for the military casualties of the four conflicting forces in Syria, 170 were killed and 148 others were wounded, with the Syrian government forces incurring the largest number of casualties, including 120 deaths and 84 injuries. Ten deaths and six injuries were recorded among militants of the Turkish-backed opposition factions, also known as the Syrian National Army (SNA), as for militants of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS, formerly al-Nusra Front) five deaths of and four injuries were recorded in addition to recording the death of 23 and the wounding of 19 of non-Syrian nationalities.

Meanwhile, 12 fighters of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) were killed and 35 others were wounded.

The number of victims of war remnants has decreased by about 6 percent compared to March, recording 145 victims, of whom 93 were killed, including eight children, eight women, 46 men, and 31 military personnel, and 52 were injured, including 12 children, one woman, 13 men and 26 military personnel.

As for bombardment, de-escalation zones across the country witnessed a military escalation represented in indiscriminate shelling and continuous clashes between government forces, HTS and the SNA factions.

The government-held areas were subjected to 93 attacks; 79 of which were carried out by HTS with 117 strikes; 11 attacks with 26 strikes were carried out by Israel; two attacks with 50 strikes were conducted by SNA factions, and one attack was conducted by an unknown party. Syrian government forces, in return, attacked 123 positions of HTS with 259 strikes, and it also targeted 15 positions of SNA factions in northern Aleppo with 91 strikes.

Despite the tragic conditions Turkey is suffering from due to the Feb. 6 earthquake, Turkish forces targeted 24 positions in northeast Syria with 427 strikes, two of which were by drones, claiming the life of two SDF fighters, while the other strikes targeted residential areas.

In April, 238 people were arrested in different Syrian areas, 79 of whom were arrested by HTS, including two women, and a number of militants of SNA factions after the latter arrested an HTS militant in the city of Azaz in the countryside of Aleppo, SNA factions arrested 89 people, including two women and a child, in the areas held by the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES) 33 people were arrested, most of them were arrested on charges of belonging to ISIS, while the Syrian government arrested 37 people, including two women, mostly for unknown reasons.

ISIS activities

Compared to March, ISIS activities in April have recorded a surge by about 20 percent, with 30 attacks, six of which targeted civilians, 16 targeted SDF fighters, and eight were against government forces.

The ISIS attacks were recorded in different places, 14 in Deir ez-Zor, three each in Hama, Hasakah, and Raqqa, five in Homs, and one each in Daraa and Aleppo.

The number of victims of ISIS attacks across Syria reached 132, of who 89 died either in direct attacks or landmine explosions.

In details, the number of victims of the ISIS direct attacks reached 92, of whom 56 were killed and 36 were injured. Remnants of war planted by ISIS killed 33 people and injured seven others.

As a result of the ISIS attacks, 61 civilians were killed, including 4 women, and 12 others were wounded, including a child. The military victims resulted from the ISIS attacks included 19 deaths and six wounded of the government forces soldiers, as well as, nine deaths and 25 wounded of the SDF fighters.

Regarding the security campaigns launched across Syria, the SDF launched 17 security campaigns, seven of which were in cooperation with the US-led Global Coalition, including two airdrops, in which nine ISIS suspected operatives were killed and 27 others were arrested. The government forces carried out one security campaign, in which a person accused of belonging to ISIS was killed. Additionally, Turkey claimed it had targeted an ISIS leader in its areas of control in northwest Syria.

Human rights violations in NW Syria

The areas held by the SNA and the HTS in northwest Syria are still an epicenter of violations of international humanitarian law and human rights as the opposition has continued committing systematic violations and inhumane crimes against residents of these areas.

The opposition factions killed eight people, including a woman, and injured 22 others, including a child and a woman, they carried out five cases of appropriation of civilian properties such as homes and shops, and two cases of theft, including drivers of private and public cars and large trucks, in exchange for royalties.

In addition, the SNA factions continue their harmful practices against the environment by logging fruit and forest trees. The documentation department recorded the logging of 1,811 trees during April, most of them in Afrin. A number of trees were uprooted in order to expand the space of a Turkish military base in the town of Kaljibrin in the countryside of Azaz.

In term of the ongoing human rights violations by Turkish forces in the areas they occupied in northwest Syria, the department documented a run-over incident of a young man in Sere Kaniye (Ras al-Ain), causing his death. Turkish border guards killed one civilian, and wounded 37 others including three women while they were trying to cross the border into Turkey. They also arrested 29 asylum seekers, including nine women, some of whom were assaulted.

Humanitarian condition

About three months after the catastrophe of the Feb.6 earthquake that hit the country, the Monitoring and Documentation Department disclosed the final toll of the earthquake victims and the bodies that were recovered.

The number of the victims in Syria reached 12,731, including 5,315 deaths and 7,416 injuries, while the number of the collapsed buildings and houses reached 1,333, and the partially damaged ones reached 4,595.

According to the department, those affected by the earthquake in Syria have not received adequate assistance, and realistic solutions have not been developed to improve the tragic conditions.

During April, Lebanon deported about 50 people, according to Amnesty International, without guaranteeing their safe return. It even handed over two young men from the city of Suwayda, a governorate southern Syria, and nine from Rif Dimashq to the Syrian authorities. The two young men were arrested under the pretext that they were wanted for army reserve. As for the others, the reason for their arrest or their fate has been unknown.

The issue of compulsory military service is one of the most important reasons preventing Syrian refugees in neighboring countries from returning home.

Following the earthquake disaster in Syria, many Arab countries rushed to restore ties with Syria, a step that was rejected by many organizations, arguing that the government did not guarantee a political solution that achieves justice in Syria after more than a decade of war. They also said that it [the step] may contribute to impunity for war crimes perpetrators and obstruct the implementation of the UN Resolution No. 2254.

With regard to Syrians’ living conditions, the economic crisis and the rapid devaluation of the Syrian currency, which exceeded the barrier of 8,000 Syrian pounds (SYP) per $1, have further exacerbated their misery.

Syrians now are stripped of their basic civil rights, such as safe food, comfortable housing, health care and other rights. The fact that the average per capita income is equivalent to $19 per month, while each individual needs about $100 in order to purchase his basics, gives only a glimpse of their suffering.