BEIRUT — Nearly 93,000 people have been confirmed killed in the conflict in Syria, the United Nations said Thursday, as it warned that more bloodshed could be imminent in the northern city of Aleppo, where government troops have massed.
The conflict’s death toll is nearly two-thirds the number of fatalities recorded during neighboring Lebanon’s 15-year civil war, underscoring the intensity of the violence. And although 92,901 killings were documented in Syria in the 25-month period to April, the real figure is likely to be much higher, according to Navi Pillay, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights.
Lack of access for independent observers has presented problems in keeping track of deaths in the conflict. The U.N. numbers jibe with comments in late May by Secretary of State John F. Kerry, who said “upwards of 100,000” have been killed.
The increasingly sectarian violence on the ground, combined with a swing in President Bashar al-Assad’s favor, is forcing a reassessment of Syria policy among Western governments, with the White House holding crisis talks Wednesday to float options for better assisting the opposition.