However, Rami Abdul-Rahman, who heads the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said the increased toll is likely incomplete because both the Syrian army and the rebel groups often underreport their dead in the civil war.
“Both sides are hiding information,” Abdul-Rahman told the Associated Press. “It is very difficult to get correct info on the fighters because they don’t want the information to hurt morale.”
As in previous months, around a third of those killed in March were civilians, the Observatory said. Almost 300 children died, taking the number killed in the conflict to around 4,390. The United Nations says more than 70,000 people have died in Syria.
In other news, a group of Syrian oppositionists announced over the weekend the establishment of a new revolutionary group called “The Revolutionary Front for the Liberation of Syria.”
Luay al-Zu’bi, a Syrian oppositionist and member of the new front, said that the group was established to repel a number of plots that are in the way of the Syrian revolution, which aims to hijack it from the Syrian people.
The front is made up of several movements opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, among them the “Believers Participate”, the “Unified Syrian Bloc”, led by Wahid Saqr (Alawite oppositionist), the “Revolutionary Forces for the Liberation of Syria Grouping” which is led by dissident Major General Muhammad al-Haj Ali, the “Democratic National Bloc”, the “Arab Tribes Council”, and the “Field Representation Bureau.”
While leadership sources in the Free Syrian Army [FSA] denied any knowledge of the front’s establishment, other sources in the FSA told Asharq Al-Awsat that the group does not differ from the other attempts by Syrian oppositionists to establish political blocs and denied that there is any contact or coordination with the FSA.
Fahd al-Masri, the FSA’s official in the Joint Command’s central media department, told Asharq Al-Awsat that “the FSA does not interfere in the political action and we do not consider the establishment of several trends opposed to the regime unhealthy but the natural result of the absence of democratic life in Syria for four decades.” He pointed out that “there are in the new front nationalist figures that we respect as we respect the other Syrian opposition spectrum.” He noted at the same time that “the political opposition’s performance has not yet risen to the level of the sacrifices that the Syrian people are making.”