Wall Street Journal
There are many stories behind the daily death tolls, and too few are told. The country’s catastrophe will not end on its own.
By NIR BOMS
They come in every day now, the body counts from Syria, consistent and painful: 141, 201, 152, 81 (a lucky day, that was). This past Sunday, 566 bodies were found, 483 of them in Damascus and its suburbs alone, according to the Local Coordination Committees of Syria, a network of opposition activist groups. Twenty-three bodies were found in Aleppo, 21 in Idlib, 15 in Homs, 12 in Daraa, seven in Deir Ezzor, five in Hama.
This is the highest number of dead discovered in a single day since the war began two years ago. But it is not the end.
March was the war’s bloodiest month to date, with more than 6,000 killed. The overall number of dead since the start of the 2011 uprising has reached 70,000, according to the United Nations. Opposition sources put the number closer to 120,000.
The task of attributing death tolls to particular days can be difficult when bodies turn up from killings that occurred days, weeks, months before. How to account, for instance, for a new stack of bodies that suddenly appeared in the Queiq River in Aleppo when its banks receded in January? All 110 had been shot in the head, their hands bound with plastic ties behind their backs. Many of them had disappeared months earlier, having been arrested for allegedly supporting the anti-Assad rebels. Since January, scores more bodies have been found in the Queiq. Continue reading