(LONDON) — Syria’s increasingly violent conflict was at its deadliest in March.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported on Monday that just over 6,000 people died in war-related violence in March, the deadliest month of the two-year battle between the government of President Bashar al-Assad and opposition forces determined to depose him.
While a news blackout in Syria makes it all but impossible to verify exact figures, the British-based rights group is confident the death toll is accurate, if not understated.
The United Nations estimates that over 70,000 people have died in Syria since March 2001 when al-Assad began his crackdown on what his regime describes as “terrorist gangs.”
The number of people fleeing war-torn Syria is expected to reach one million this spring with as many as four million people in total displaced from their homes and neighborhoods as the fighting continues to escalate.
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Madison Park and Steve Almasy, CNN
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Catherine E. Shoichet, CNN
Joshua Berlinger, Marilia Brocchetto and Fernando Ramos, CNN