Over 19,000 Killed in Syria

The death toll in the Syrian uprising has now exceeded 19,000 according to the Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. The London-based organization said that, if the current rate of killing continues, July will prove the deadliest month in the 16-month conflict. According to the Observatory’s chief, Rami Abdul-Rahman, 2,752 people (1,933 civilians, 738 government troops and 81 rebels) were killed in the first 21 days of July.

On Sunday, heavy fighting between the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and government troops continued near Aleppo, Syria’s second-largest city and helicopter gunships attacked parts of the capital, Damascus, to drive out rebels. Aleppo, with a population of 3 million, had so far mostly escaped the conflict; opposition forces are reportedly now heading to the city from rural areas, where they have gradually established more and more control. The regime of President Bashar al-Assad had so far maintained control of the cities at least during the day but the FSA has been capturing a number of border posts near Turkey and Iraq.

In an understatement, the Guardian comments that diplomatic efforts, including the extension of the mission for a team of United Nations monitors for 30 days, have been “largely overtaken by events.” While Russia and China have called for continued efforts for a diplomatic solution, Western allies including the US, the UK and European nations are demanding a “political transition” and for Assad to step down. European Union ministers have voted on imposing harsher sanctions on supporters of Assad and on searching airplanes and ships that are suspected of containing weapons or banned equipment meant for Syria.

On Sunday, the US agreed to give Jordan an additional $100 million to help refugees fleeing from Syria. Thousands of Syrians are now also living in refugee camps in Turkey and have also crowded border crossings in Lebanon.

Syria has said that it will not use its store of chemical weapons and missiles — of weapons of mass destruction — on the opposition fighters and would only use them in the event of an “external attack.” Nonetheless, Israel has said it will “consider action” to make sure that Syria’s Shia Islamist ally in Lebanon, Hezbollah, does not acquire its store of chemical weapons and missiles.

Saudi Arabia and Qatar have both called for arming the rebel fighters. After an emergency meeting in Qatar, foreign ministers of the Arab League also called on Assad to step down, offered his family safe passage out of Syria and called on the Syrian opposition to form a transition government.

But the BBC’s Jim Muir says that these calls have “fallen on deaf ears” as Assad reportedly held a meeting with his new army chief of staff, who has only just been appointed following the killing of four top leaders of his military-security command last week in an explosion in Damascus.

 

 

Previous Care2 Coverage

Russia’s UN Veto “Inexcusable” to Syrian People

Blast Kills Assad’s Brother-in-Law, Defense Minister

Red Cross Finally Admits Syria is in Civil War

Photo by FreedomHouse

13 comments

Michael C.
Michael C.3 years ago

Duane, Get over, signed George Bush Her is a object lesson for all of you. What did Bush proclaim as to your freedoms? A hint...you don't deserve any, other than what I grant you.

Shepple, How many would have died if the US, the Saudis, Qatar and most probably, the jewish Occupiers of Palestine not provided the weapons, money and advisors.

Do any of you know that American monies, in the way of US Aid went to build and house Soviet Bloc weapons from the various clashes with their neighbors, along with the weapons abandoned by Gaddafi, in a secret location in the Negev Desert in Occupied Palestine. The assessed amount from Gaddafi's loss...$2 billion USD.

They stock-piled these weapons of war to sell, or as you might know...provide to the Contras in Nicaragua and then there was Afghanistan and their fight against the Soviets.

No ones hans are clean here, Bush used the Syrians to torture the innocent, to force them to declare their allegiance to Al Queda, even when there was none.

I don't know about you but I must go and raise the American flag...and burn the damn thing as an effigy of George Bush.

Thank you for listening, signed as concerned citizen of the former Republic of the United States of Americorp, for which it stands, all corporations under one fully boughten Congress.
I pledge by scorn, my ridicule, my separation unto thee.

Lisa D'Ambrosio
Lisa D'Ambrosio3 years ago

Assad should be tried as a war criminal ...

sheila h.
sheila haigh3 years ago

The Syrian spokesman only said CBW would not be used on civilians, and specifically said they would be used on foreign aggressors. As Assad claims that all those fighting him are "foreign terrorists" don't be so confident that he will not use his CBW against them.

To even be talking about them, he must be thinking of the possibility of using them. The statement was intended as a direct threat to those fighting him, and they will know that.

However, I believe it is also an indication of him knowing, somewhere deep down, that he cannot last forever, that the regime is weakening. Sadly, the Assad mentality is to take down as many of his opposition as he can, destroying the country if need be, in his determination to hang on as long as possible. The regime plan always was, if under sustained attack and defeat loomed, they would retreat to the hill tops around Qardaha, from whence they came, and which they have turned into vast fortresses, and carry on a guerilla war from there, making Syria ungovernable. So where have those BW been moved to?

John B.
John B.3 years ago

The situation will undoubtedly get worse long before a political or military solutions is achieved. It also would not surprise me if the conflict doesn't spill over into Lebanon. Thanks Kristina for the article.

David E.
David E.3 years ago

And NOT ONE DEMONSTRATION by the hypocritical "do-gooders of the world", human rights organizations, and NGOs. They only care about what happens in Western countries.
3rd world countries can do what ever they want when it comes to human rights. Again we see the post-colonial syndrome in action. Where are the world-wide demonstrations against Assad, Russia, and China?

Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill3 years ago

Where is the leadership in the US on this? As with other issues, no where to be seen.

Tav T.
tavleen T.3 years ago

I don't know whats sadder; the fact that there are so many horrible people involved in this or the fact that so little people even care .. I wish I could do something but this is sadly out of our hands.. I just feel so bad for the poor children!!

Vicky Pitchford
Vicky P.3 years ago

so sad

J.L. A.
JL A.3 years ago

and supposedly folks have been working on democracy plans since 2008?

Duane B.
.3 years ago

Human beings do terrible things to other human beings!