News / Middle East

UN Says Syria Death Toll Nearing 70,000

A Free Syrian Army fighter carries his weapon as he walks past damaged buildings in the Arabeen neighborhood of Damascus, Syria, Feb. 12, 2013.A Free Syrian Army fighter carries his weapon as he walks past damaged buildings in the Arabeen neighborhood of Damascus, Syria, Feb. 12, 2013.
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A Free Syrian Army fighter carries his weapon as he walks past damaged buildings in the Arabeen neighborhood of Damascus, Syria, Feb. 12, 2013.
A Free Syrian Army fighter carries his weapon as he walks past damaged buildings in the Arabeen neighborhood of Damascus, Syria, Feb. 12, 2013.
VOA News
The United Nations says the death toll from nearly two years of fighting in Syria is nearing 70,000.

U.N. Human Rights commissioner Navi Pillay made the announcement in a statement to the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday. Pillay announced just last month that the toll had reached 60,000.

The Security Council has been deadlocked on a response to the Syrian crisis, with permanent members Russia and China vetoing three resolutions against the Syrian government.

Meanwhile, Syrian activists say rebels opposed to President Bashar al-Assad have captured a military air base in northern Syria, a day after seizing control of the country's largest hydro-electric dam.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Tuesday the rebels were in control of the al-Jarrah air base in Aleppo province. News services said the rebels seized for the first time a fleet of deployable warplanes, including MiG fighter jets.

The opposition Local Coordinating Committees said the air base was taken after fierce clashes with government forces. The group also reported fighting Tuesday at another military airport in Aleppo.

  • A Free Syrian Army fighter takes position inside a house during clashes with forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus, February 12, 2013.
  • Syrian refugee children look out of their classroom window at Al- Zaatri refugee camp, in the Jordanian city of Mafraq, near the border with Syria, February 12, 2013.
  • Relatives of Ali Sille, one of the 13 people killed by an explosion at a crossing on Turkey's border with Syria, mourn at his grave in the town of Reyhanli, Turkey, February 12, 2013.
  • This image taken from video shows Syrian rebels at Jarrah airfield in Aleppo province, February 12, 2013.
  • A fighter from the Free Syrian Army uses a shotgun to fire a grenade at Syrian Army soldiers in the Arabeen neigborhood of Damascus, February 9, 2013.
  • Garbage fills a street in Aleppo, February 11, 2013.
  • A Syrian refugee woman and her child sit in her makeshift tent in the town of Viransehir, southeast Turkey, February 10, 2013.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.
 

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by: Anonymous
February 12, 2013 5:45 PM
Bashar al Assad should be facing THOUSANDS of murder charges, and genocide charges by the ICC. Unless of course the Syrian people deal with Bashar accordingly. However there is word that Bashar al Assad is hiding on a Russian ship in the Mediterranean Sea. So all the more reason for the ICC to get involved now. Anyone housing Bashar al Asssad or protecting him from prosecution should face severe consequences.

by: Michael from: USA
February 12, 2013 9:59 AM
The catastrophe is important in that it sets in mind the image of the conflict-torn MiddleEast. All regional conflicts are related on this note: to move past conflict into the global marketplace and this should come into view by 2015 AD

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