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History of Syria



the Syrian Army. The insurgents unified under the banner of the Free Syrian Army and fought in an increasingly organized fashion; however, the civilian component of the armed opposition lacked an organized leadership. The uprising has sectarian undertones, though neither faction in the conflict has described sectarianism as playing a major role. The opposition is dominated by Sunni Muslims, whereas the leading government figures are Alawite Muslims.

According to various sources, including the United Nations, up to 9,100–11,000 people have been killed, primarily protesters but also including 2,470–3,500 armed combatants. According to the Syrian government, 5,700–6,400 people, including 2,000–2,500 members of the security forces, more than 800 insurgents and more than 3,000 civilians, have been killed in fighting with what they characterize as "armed terrorist groups". The United Nations reported that over 400 children have been killed. Syria's government has dismissed this, characterizing claims from UN officials as being based on false news reports that originate from opposition groups. Additionally, over 600 detainees and political prisoners have died under torture. UNICEF reported that over 400 children have been killed. Another 400 children have been reportedly arrested and tortured in Syrian prisons. On 6 June 2012, 100 people were massacred in Al-Kubeir village.

Anti-government rebels have been accused of human rights abuses as well, including torture, kidnapping, unlawful detention and execution of civilians, Shabiha and soldiers. HRW also expressed concern at the kidnapping of Iranian nationals. The UN Commission of Inquiry has also documented abuses of this nature in its February 2012 report, which also includes documentation that indicates rebel forces have been responsible for some displacement of civilians.

The Arab League, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the United States of America, the EU states, the GCC states,