Infographic: Hezbollah fighters killed in Syria

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This infographic shows the funerals of 313 Hezbollah fighters reportedly killed during battles in Syria. (Image: Hisham Ashkar)

By: Hisham Ashkar

Published Monday, March 31, 2014

What is the death toll of Hezbollah fighters in Syria?

This issue is still a matter of debate since the beginning of Hezbollah’s intervention in Syria on the side of the Syrian regime. And Hezbollah adds to this ambiguity, by not providing any numbers or other comprehensive information.

The only official statement from Hezbollah came in early December 2013, when its secretary general, Hassan Nasrallah, revealed that the number is less than 250. Around the same time, Syrian opposition(s) and anti-Hezbollah Lebanese groups claimed that the death toll is higher than 500, and even exceeds the 1,000 threshold. Only the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) was in range with Hezbollah’s declaration. It put the number of deaths at 232 on December 1, 2013. The latest SOHR count on March 13, 2014 stands at the number of 332. (Note that SOHR doesn’t provide any list or details.)

To know the real number of killed Hezbollah fighters, I decided to follow the funerals.

The official Hezbollah news agencies and sites are the primary source of this research. However, they do not cover all funerals, and their information are not categorized, thus making it hard to find all the required data. To complement this research, I looked also into pro-Hezbollah websites, and cross-referenced the information. These websites are rife with mistakes, for example, citing the same killed fighter several times under different combinations of his name, his father’s name, his nom de guerre, etc.

I drew up a list of 322 killed fighters (which is close to the latest SOHR’s figure). For nine of them I couldn’t find funeral information. Usually a funeral takes place in the following days of the fighter’s death. But on several occasions, they were held months later pending the retrieval of the body. Most of the fighters were buried in the place of their origin or of their residency. However, several fighters were buried in the communal Hezbollah cemetery in Ghobeiry, while others were buried, according to their will, in Sayida Zainab.

Of course this is not an exhaustive list, and the numbers can be higher, but for sure they are much less than what most anti-Hezbollah groups claim. In this sense, we have to congratulate Hezbollah, since the figure advanced by his secretary general is the closest to reality … a reality that left dead young men in nearly every village and town in South Lebanon and Baalbek.

To check the list and references, please follow this link.

Click the image below to view in full size:

This infographic was originally published on the author's blog.

Hisham Ashkar is an architect and urban planner, currently pursuing a PhD in Urban Planning at HafenCity Universität - Hamburg.



The Sunnis are so confused about Islam may Allah (swt) guide them, The prophet (pbh) chose a successor out of his own household but instantly Abu Bakhur stole the succesorship by voting himself successor, yet the so called kingdom of Saudi(Brittish Inspired) chooses successors from their household and the sunnis support this. They are told by false hadith to support their leader rather right or wrong yet they feel it is just to enter Syria and fight against Bashir Assad even to the point where they are killing other muslims because they are taught by their confused sheiks that the Shia of Ali are not muslim so it is ok to kill them. Aggressors they are and they are outside of Islam. Sunnis have joined forces and made Allies of the western forces who care nothing for the Muslims as a whole and are only concerned with western interests and the obliteration and chaos of the muslim community both Shia and sunni. Wake up Muslims and be brothers again using Quran only as a guide because this is where our unity and strength resides for ever and ever.

All to hell Insha Allah! May Allah (SWT) increase their punishment and punishment of their allies and those you supported them!

Mr. Ashkar, this is really good work. However, 2 points should be stressed:

- The SOHR tallies battle deaths conservatively. It only counts deaths that can be documented. Thus, your review does not confirm SOHR's figure via a second methodology; rather, your review mirrors in some respects the methodology of SOHR. Not surprisingly, you arrived at a similar number. However, that number is the floor for Hezbollah deaths. The actual number may be slightly higher or significantly higher. To estimate how much higher, we need to have a general estimate of missing in action, battle deaths where no body is recoverable, etc.

- Killed in action does not include wounded in action. The latter is typically much higher, depending upon a variety of factors. In the case of Hezbollah, which has access to Syrian government medical resources, the ratio could be very high (since more wounded would survive). But even assuming that it is a low 3:1, that would mean 1000 Hezbollah wounded. Hundreds of these would be disabled and thus would be effectively removed from Hezbollah's military ranks.


Excellent investigative journalism. Kudos on a very interesting piece.

Will Hussein Hassan Hamadeh make the list? there was a large funeral on Friday in Nabatiyah.
Btw,how come there was no mention in this newspaper of the untimely death of Hilal al-Assad?

They died killing other Muslims in another country. What a waste of human life. What a crime. And the rebellion continues with no end.

They died for a most noble cause, killing rats, the scum of the earth.

The man in London you call the SOHR is a friend of yours? They don't teach you in architecture school that "casualties" includes wounded and captured/missing. Some people in combat, when they get hit by bullets or shrapnel, don't die; they just mope around with a leg missing or something annoying like that.
The old saying that truth is the first casualty of war doesn't specify if war kills the truth, wounds it, captures it, or it just turns up missing (as they say in England: if it turned up, how can it be missing?).

Dude- Read the link. It says "deaths." In this case, author used the word "casualties" for effect. Calm down. You think Hiz is having funerals for nothing?

It is interesting to compare Al Akhbar to Naharnet. Al Akhbar edited this story to remove the word "casualties". By contrast, Naharnet seems to crash ahead on its own quixotic editorial course unaffected by reader responses. With Israel as the planet's premier racist state, Lebanon comes in at number two with its Taef Accord whereby the Christian minority, perhaps thirty percent of its four million citizens, are given half the seats in Parliament, power-sharing in reverse. Shiites by themselves are more than half the total population. Noted: there has not been a census since 1934 because, as a Wikipedia article says or used to say, the topic is too controversial.
The live issue here is why doesn't Hezbullah put its emphasis on a civil rights struggle for "one voter, one vote" (to mirror Ehud Olmert's advice to Palestinians)?
For our purposes, it would seem foolhardy to expect these adjacent houses of cards, Israel and Lebanon, to survive a world where democracy seems to be becoming the iron rule, even when market freedom is constrained by despotic policies here and there. A market economy cannot flourish when its government is too despotic. The US economy will not recover until its regime extricates itself from its self-inflicted Global War On Terror, an extrication which will require it to abandon its nation-building exercise in Palestine (and the ancillary operation next door to the north). Europe, the sick man of Europe, is in the same situation, and probably closer to recovering in my terms.
So keep your eyes on Lebanon, which I designate the canary in the coal mine for purposes of monitoring constitutional health.

These noble martyrs will live on forever in the very depths of our hearts for sacrificing their lives for the good of their family, their people, and their nation. May they be avenged, and their immense sacrifice be fruitful in eliminating the threat of takfiri vermin.

noble martyrs ? lolol more like party of Satan

We are eternally grateful to the noble and courageous martyrs of our resistance who laid down their lives to protect us from this takfiri scourge. May they rest in peace. Long live Sayyed Hassan and long live the resistance!

Nasrshaytan have shown his real face brother. I respected him so much. Till he started the killing for iran in syria. That was to much. He have to pay for this. Sunnis get killed in syria on a daily bases. And that since 1983 or 1982. Father Bashar made the example and junior Bashar followed. He could have stepped down and organised new elections. All would have been cool. But he wanted to stay in power at any cost.

The real takfiri is you. Party of Satan with tattoo on their body..they are killed and deserved jahannam.

Very interesting infographic, especially with the timeline at the bottom and corresponding offensives.

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