Group Says Almost 1,900 Dead in Syria During Peace Talks

Latest figures from anti-Assad group show at least 498 civilians killed since Jan. 22

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Zein Al-Rifai / AFP /Getty Images

A Syrian man carries the body of a victim out of the rubble of a destroyed building following alleged air raids by government forces on the rebel-controlled part of Aleppo's Maadi residential district on Jan. 29, 2014.

Almost 1,900 people were killed in Syria’s civil war during peace talks in Switzerland, the pro-opposition rights group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Friday.

The new figure breaks down 1,870 deaths between the morning of Jan. 22 and midnight on Jan. 30., making for a daily average of about 208 people. Peace talks ended Friday.

At least 498 of the total deaths were civilians, according to the  Syrian Observatory: 431 were killed during fighting between government troops and opposition rebels; 40 died from a lack of humanitarian aid, including 32 in the Yarmouk refugee camp for Palestinians and in other areas being bombarded by the government; and 27 deaths were from firefights between rebel groups including the extremist faction Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

The group said 515 government loyalists, made up of soldiers or militias or Shi’ites from Iraq, were killed. On the opposition side, 646 Islamist or mainstream rebels died while battling ISIL or regime troops. Conversely, 208 members of ISIL and the al-Nusra Front, which is tied to al-Qaeda, were killed while fighting government troops, rival rebel battalions or Kurdish militiamen. Three of the latter also died in the week since Jan. 22.

Figures from the group are frequently cited, even more so after the U.N.’s announcement earlier this month that it would no longer update its death toll from the civil war—at least 100,000—because it couldn’t independently source and verify the information.