Syrian Death Toll Continues to Rise

Some time this spring, the death toll in Syria’s grinding war surpassed 400,000.

The number is an estimate. War is always chaotic, but Syria’s war is chaos incarnate. The government — the Assad dictatorship — attacks civilian neighborhoods with chemical weapons. ISIS, which still controls significant territory, razes captured towns and uses mass murder as a strategic political weapon. Russian aircraft, allegedly attacking ISIS, bomb any target the Kremlin deems useful. Collateral damage and dead innocents? Western peacenik denunciation has no effect on Moscow.

Other international interlopers spill blood. Iranian Special Forces and Lebanese Hezbollah thugs attack anti-Assad rebel enclaves. Turkish artillery occasionally fires on ISIS positions in Syria. In odd corners and for opaque reasons, renegade and sectarian gunmen battle neighborhood militias. U.S. aircraft occasionally drop bombs. Washington recently acknowledged American Special Forces operate in Syria. See, the U.S. allegedly leads President Barack Obama’s co-called anti-ISIS coalition.