Residents look for belongings amid debris of a collapsed building in Aleppo December 31, 2014.
Hamid Khatib—Reuters
January 1, 2015 9:52 PM EST

More than 76,000 people were killed in Syria’s civil war in 2014, including thousands of children, making it the deadliest year yet, activists say.

The U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Thursday it has recorded 17,790 civilian deaths, 3,501 being children.

The monitoring group said more than 200,000 people have died since the conflict began in 2011, when anti-regime protests against Bashar al-Assad’s regime descended into bloody conflict after a government crackdown.

More than 15,000 rebel fighters were also killed in Iraq in 2014, as were 17,000 militants from groups including the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) and the al-Nusra Front, making the worst nationwide death toll since 2007, reports the BBC.

Much of last year’s bloodshed comes as a result of ISIS and other militant groups advancing into Syria and Iraq.

Write to Helen Regan at helen.regan@timeasia.com.

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