5 April 2019: The Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED) is pleased to announce the incorporation of new data collected by the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR), Airwars, and undisclosed local partners to our Syria dataset.

The partner data add over 1,800 new events for 2018, particularly expanding our coverage of violence against civilians and explosions/remote violence. Additionally, over 3,000 existing ACLED events are now enriched with data from these sources, increasing precision in the identification of locations, conflict actors, and reported fatalities across the country.

Further, ACLED data now include information collected by Airwars on explosions/remote violence and battles for 2017. These data add 1,300 new events and supplement over 800 existing ACLED events. The incorporation of Airwars’ 2017 data also enhances ACLED’s aerial actor identification, particularly concerning strikes carried out by the Global Coalition Against Daesh, as well as the quality of fatality reporting in Syria’s northeast — with both enhancements contributing to improved coverage of events that occurred during the battle of Ar-Raqqa.

Overall Conflict Levels and Reported Fatalities:

  • More than 88,200 conflict-related fatalities are reported in Syria from January 2017 through March 20191
    • Over 54,800 in 2017; 30,200 in 2018; and 3,200 so far in 2019
  • As levels of violence fell throughout 2018, reported fatalities decreased by approximately 45% from 2017
  • Overall reported fatality rates have continued declining into the first three months of 2019, with around a quarter of the number of reported fatalities recorded during the same period in 2018 (approximately 3,200 compared to 12,800)

Violence Targeting Civilians:

  • Between January 2017 and March 2019, ACLED records more than 13,500 direct attacks targeting civilians, resulting in approximately 30,600 reported fatalities2
    • Approximately 19,900 in 2017; 10,100 in 2018; and 600 so far in 2019
  • Responsibility for the highest number of reported civilian fatalities in Syria is linked to military forces loyal to the Bashar al-Assad regime, with over 11,700 reported fatalities from January 2017 to March 2019 — including approximately 5,500 in 2018 — stemming from their direct involvement
  • Percentage of reported civilian fatalities from direct targeting by actor, 2017-2019 (approximate):
    • The Syrian military: 38%
    • The Global Coalition Against Daesh: 15%
    • The Islamic State: 11%
    • Military Forces of Russia: 9%
    • Military Forces of Turkey: 3%
    • Syrian Democratic Forces: 2%
    • Hayat Tahrir al-Sham: 0.6%

A US-based 501c3 established in 2014, ACLED is the highest quality, most widely used, real-time data and analysis source on political violence and protest around the world.

If you would like to use ACLED analysis or visuals, please review our Terms of Use and Attribution Policy.


For interview requests and press inquiries, please contact:

Sam Jones, Communications Manager



Download a PDF of this press release here.


1Fatality numbers are frequently the most biased and poorly reported component of conflict data. While ACLED codes the most conservative reports of fatality counts to minimize over-counting, this does not account for biases that exist around fatality counts at-large. Find more information about ACLED’s methodology for coding fatalities here.

2This figure includes only civilians killed as a result of direct civilian targeting. It does not include collateral civilian fatalities. As such, the number is assumed to represent an underestimate of the total conflict-related civilian fatalities in Syria.


© 2019 Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED). All rights reserved.

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PRESS RELEASE: ACLED Integrates New Partner Data on the War in Syria
Sam Jones on Twitter
Sam Jones
Sam Jones
Communications Manager
Sam is the ACLED Communications Manager. He oversees public outreach and works to ensure ACLED data inform research, discourse, and policymaking on political violence and protest around the world. He earned his BA in Political Theory from Franklin & Marshall College and his MA in Ethics, Peace, and Human Rights from American University's School of International Service. Sam's research has centered on political violence and protest movements, and he previously worked to document human rights violations in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

Contact him at: communications@acleddata.com
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