Sundays 8pm to 11pm on Radio 2

New Episodes at CBC Music

New Episodes at CBC Music

Need more Strombo Show? Head over to our page on CBC Music for new episodes, playlists and video extras.

CBC Music Past Shows



BY THE NUMBERS: A Statistical Snapshot Of Syria’s Year Of Conflict
March 19, 2012
submit to reddit

After more than a year of uprising and violence, the conflict in Syria between the government of President Bashar Al-Assad and opposition forces shows no sign of abating. Last Thursday marked the one-year anniversary of the widespread anti-government protests that launched the uprising; as of today, fighting had broken out in the Syrian capital of Damascus, a rare incursion into the government's stronghold by opposition forces, and a continuation of the ongoing violence besetting the troubled country.

Here is a breakdown of the last 12 months in Syria, by the numbers:

Number of people who have died in Syria over the past year as a result of the government's crackdown against dissent, according to a statement by UN Secretary Ban Ki-Moon last week.

7,500: The UN's estimate of the Syrian death toll prior to Ban's update.

9,100: Number of people killed by government forces in the past year, according to Syrian activists.

2,000: Number of government security forces killed by rebels, according to government estimates.

230,000: Number of Syrians who have fled their homes to escape the violence, according to the UN.

30,000: Number of those fleeing who have left the country entirely.

16,000: Number of Syrian refugees currently in Turkey. (29,000 have crossed the border, with 13,000 having returned back.)

12: Number of years that current Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad has been in power.

29: Number of years his predecessor - and father - Hafez Al-Assad ruled Syria as president.

10: Percentage of Syria's population belonging to the Alawite religious sect, which includes the Assad family among its most prominent members.

70: Percentage of Syria's population that identify as Sunni Muslims.

20,000: Number of people killed in the Hama Massacre, ordered by Hafez Al-Assad in 1982.

Percentage of participants in a referendum last month who voted in favour of a new Syrian constitution - which would allow for Bahsar Al-Assad to remain in power until possibly 2028 - according to government sources.

Percentage of eligible voters who took part in the referendum, according to government sources.

1: Number of German foreign ministers (i.e. Guido Westerwelle) who called the Syrian referendum a "farce" and a "sham" immediately afterwards.

2: Number of members of the United Nations Security Council who have blocked resolutions condemning the Syrian governments use of violence (Russia and China).

$1.5 billion: Value of arms trade between Russia and the Syrian government.

78: Percentage of the Syrian government's weapons provided by Russia.

580: Percentage increase in the arms trade between Russian and Syria over the last five years.

3,000 to 6,000: range of average tweets per hour about the Syrian uprising in February, 2012.

Sources: BBC, Reuters, United Nations, Al Jazeera, Agence France-Presse, The Week, CBS News, Toronto Star

With no end to the conflict in sight, the situation is dynamic and ever changing. There are a variety of ways to stay on top of it:

Al Jazeera, The Guardian and The New York Times all maintain updated blogs on Syria, while Mother Jones also keeps a timeline.

There are also a number of Twitter feeds maintained by activists both inside and outside the country:

@samirasyria; @LeShaque; @SaraAssaf; @SooriMadsoos; @BintAlRifai; @Ugaritian; @MalathAumran

Republican U.S. senator John McCain recently published an op-ed in USA Today calling for military intervention in Syria. His sentiments are echoed in a Washington Post opinion piece by Max Boot, a fellow at the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations, and another by Post deputy editor Jackson Diehl.

Related Stories on

CHEAT SHEET: What's Going On In Syria?

SYRIA UPDATE: Red Cross Moves In, British Prime Minister Issues Warning


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Submission Policy

Note: The CBC does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that comments are moderated and published according to our submission guidelines.