The writing was on the wall, and we all refused to see it. Assad had no intention of going gently into that good night, yet he was given all the leeway he needed to transform his crisis into a quagmire with regional, even international implications. Dealing with psychopaths like Assad is never easy, but that’s no excuse for indifference and inaction, nor is the fact that this tragedy is unfolding in some far away country. Distances have lost their relevance in our world, it’s about time our policymaking reflected this reality. Mass murder, ethnic cleansing, tyranny are no longer local concerns with local implications: they are global problems with global implications, and world leaders have sat on their hands for too long in regard to the Syrian crisis, this is unconscionable and inexcusable. Irrespective of the geopolitics involved, this tragic chapter in our contemporary history needs to be brought to a proper end, and the criminals involved need to be held accountable.
“Given there has been no let-up in the conflict since the end of November, we can assume that more than 60,000 people have been killed by the beginning of 2013,” Pillay said. “The number of casualties is much higher than we expected, and is truly shocking.” … The analysts noted that 60,000 is likely to be an underestimate of the actual number of deaths, given that reports containing insufficient information were excluded from the list, and that a significant number of killings may not have been documented at all by any of the seven sources. The recording and collection of accurate and reliable data has grown increasingly challenging due to the conflict raging in many parts of the country.
Indeed, the revision does not come as a surprise to me, I have long said that the official casualty figures fail to give an accurate impression of the what's really taking place in Syria: most of those believed missing or detained are probably dead, this is what previous experiences with the regime tell us. Also, activists on the ground are having a hard time keeping up with the all the violent developments taking place.
Also, the figures we have do not include regime casualties. Many of the soldiers fighting for the regime have no choice in the matter: they were lied to, manipulated and/or coerced, and when some try to defect, they are often killed on the spot by loyalist officers. In many ways, they are victims as well.
Personally, I believe that we have long exceeded the 100,000 mark in terms of casualties. A comparative perspective informs us that official figures are usually off by a factor of three. We will not know the truth of it all until the end of the conflict which may not happen anytime soon.
The Massacre at Mleiha, Damascus Suburbs: a runor was spread earlier in the day that the local as station finally had some gas. Indeed, Syrian TV came and covered parts of the distribution process, but as soon as the TV crew left, an aerial raid took place and the gas station was bombed, killing around 50 locals.
Rushing to the scene http://youtu.be/tKi-JI20zzI Pulling bodies from under the rubble http://youtu.be/lxLgWylKQQU The martyrs http://youtu.be/ikApkegbqQ0 Human remains http://youtu.be/eY8xWPl5BEQ Nearby residential buildings were also targeted http://youtu.be/LHlhtEZkayc
The nearby communities of Eastern Ghoutah were also targeted: Douma http://youtu.be/jl7kvN7pTtI , http://youtu.be/tdWWir04D-I Deir Al-Assafir http://youtu.be/5rM5g6uD3Qg , http://youtu.be/6KBTou6WcH8 Arbeen http://youtu.be/PKJ9kq9Ws0A
Several neighborhoods in Damascus City itself were also pounded: Mazzeh http://youtu.be/mBwbiuA1LLg
To the south, local sift through the rubble in search bodies in the town of Mouadamiyeh http://youtu.be/fdih2E9jxMw
In Idlib, helicopter gunships took part in shelling the town of Taftanaz http://youtu.be/e2iFC7o2FCY , http://youtu.be/MCPL7WDMKgo , http://youtu.be/Ys8pxUFvOYw In Binnish, local rush to pull out the bodies from under the rubble in the aftermath of an aerial raid http://youtu.be/QCeGOroTWX0
Fighter jets took part in pounding the town of Basr Al-Harir in Daraa http://youtu.be/4B5n0vnaOPQ
In Homs City, the aftermath of aerial raid on Old Homs, one of the oldest towns in the world http://youtu.be/i5WXHONBUP0