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Updates in plain English from the conflict that won't stop

Day 1,093: Death toll now at 146,065

The civil war enters its fourth year with a grim new death toll. But what do all these numbers mean?
Syria aleppo feb. 18 2014Enlarge
Syrians stand in the rubble following a reported air strike attack by government forces on the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on Feb. 18, 2014. (ZEIN AL-RIFAI/AFP/Getty Images)

Today is Day 1093 of the Syria conflict.

The anti-Assad Syrian Observatory for Human Rights now counts 146,065 people who have died since a peaceful uprising turned deadly on March 18, 2011.

The UK-based group is one of the only ones still counting. The United Nations stopped releasing updated death tolls last year because conditions inside Syria make it impossible to keep an accurate count. The true number is likely far higher than 146,000.

What do all these numbers represent?

The world's largest displaced population.

Growing sectarian violence beyond Syria's borders.

A fractured and flagging opposition movement and new ground for extremism.

A regime no closer to giving up power.

And an international community paralyzed by its bad options.

It's easy to feel helpless in the face of all that. The Telegraph's Richard Spencer made the case yesterday for why you shouldn't disengage.

Tomorrow there will be a global vigil marking the three-year anniversary of the start of the large protests in Daraa, Syria (another way of measuring the start date, as March 15. Here's how we determined ours.) Use the #WithSyria hashtag to follow it on social media.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/meanwhile-syria/today-day-1093-the-syrian-conflict