Syrian man cries over family members killed in regime airstrike
Syrian man cries over family members killed in regime airstrikeReuters

More than a quarter of a million people have been killed in Syria's brutal conflict since it began with anti-government protests over four years ago, a monitoring group said Friday.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said it has documented the deaths of 250,124 people, including at least 74,426 civilians.

The civilian toll includes 12,517 children and 8,062 women.

Compiled by the British-based Observatory, which relies on a network of sources on the ground in Syria, the toll is an increase from the 240,000 figure it announced in August.

It puts the toll for rebel fighters at 43,752, and the number of foreign jihadists killed at 37,010.

At least 91,678 pro-government forces - among them 52,077 regime soldiers and other allied Syrian and non-Syrian fighters - have also been killed.

Syria's army is backed by local pro-government militias but also fighters from Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran's Lebanese terror proxy Hezbollah. The monitor said it had recorded the deaths of 971 Hezbollah terrorists in Syria.

The Observatory also documented the deaths of 3,258 people who could not be identified.

Its toll does not include some 30,000 people missing in Syria, among them 20,000 said to be held in Syrian jails.

It also does not include thousands of loyalist forces held by rebel factions or by the Islamic State (ISIS) jihadist group.

The Syrian conflict began with anti-government protests in March 2011 before spiraling into a multi-front war across the country after a brutal regime crackdown.

At least four million Syrians have been forced to flee the violence to neighboring countries, and millions more are displaced inside the war-torn country.

AFP contributed to this report.