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Syria conflict: At least 93,000 killed, says UN


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Syria conflict: At least 93,000 killed, says UN


At least 93,000 people have been killed in Syria since the start of the conflict, according to latest United Nations figures.


This represents a rise of more than 30,000 since the UN last issued figures covering the period to November 2012.


At least 5,000 people have been dying in Syria every month since last July, the UN says. But it says these statistics are an underestimate as it believes many deaths are unreported. Over 80% of those killed were men, but the UN says it has also documented the deaths of over 1,700 children under the age of 10.


There were "cases of individual children being tortured and executed, and entire families, including babies, being massacred - which, along with this devastatingly high death toll, is a terrible reminder of just how vicious this conflict has become," UN Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay said in a statement.


The revised toll came the day after a separate global UN report called the number of deaths among Syrian children "unbearable". The study said government forces and rebels were using boys and girls as "suicide bombers or human shields".



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That's basically what happened in Afghanistan and look what happened afterwards. It's not beautiful. It's two evil powers(sides) killing tons of innocent people for money and power.


I support people rising up against dictators. But this isn't a peoples' movement anymore, it's terrorist versus a dictator. It's a lose-lose for the people. Just like in Afghanistan, they defeated one evil(soviets) and replaced them with the warring Northern Alliance and Taliban which were worse than the soviets. This looks like a repeat. Another innocent group of people will be a pawn between two evil sides and lose, not matter who actually wins the war.

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Yeah I totally agree. The way the whole thing was handled was wrong from the start. The issue could have maybe been positive if it had been taken seriously from the very start and if countries had stopped being such pussies because of money and oil.


And i'll go put 1€ in the unfunny jar :disappointed:

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It's horrible that the west and Russia/Iran/China have used this as a proxy war and ruined the people's chance of getting rid of an evil dictator and putting someone good in power. We can't help but fuck everything up for other nations and then wonder why they hate us.


In Bahrain there was a peaceful movement without any real extremist element against their government and their government squashed it with guns and gas. We sat by and watched the government we prop up and support commit war crimes against it's people and didn't care. Because that's a small country, nobody really talked about it.

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Syrian rebel fighters' civil war within a civil war


A senior rebel commander with the Free Syrian Army has been shot and killed by jihadis. As Paul Wood reports, the killing is part of an escalating struggle within the armed uprising between moderates and Islamists linked to al-Qaeda.



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US preparing for military action in Syria, top US general says


He's going for another peace prize.


President Barack Obama is considering using military force in Syria, and the Pentagon has prepared various scenarios for possible United States intervention.


Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the Obama administration is deliberating whether or not it should use the brute of the US military in Syria during a Thursday morning Senate hearing.


Gen. Dempsey said the administration was considering using “kinetic strikes” in Syria and said "issue is under deliberation inside of our agencies of government,” the Associated Press reported from Washington.


Dempsey, 61, is the highest ranking officer in the US military and has been nominated by Pres. Obama to serve a second term in that role. The Senate Armed Services Committee questioned him Thursday morning as part of the nominating process when Dempsey briefly discussed the situation in Syria.


Last month, the Obama administration concluded that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons during the ongoing battles. Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes said, “The intelligence community estimates that 100 to 150 people have died from detected chemical weapons attacks in Syria to date; however, casualty data is likely incomplete.”


Pres. Obama said previously that the use of chemical weapons would cross a “red line” and likely trigger American intervention. When the White House concluded Assad had relied on chemical warfare, Rhodes said, “both the political and the military opposition . . . is and will be receiving US assistance."


That claim was met with skepticism, though. The Syrian Foreign Ministry called Obama’s claims a “caravan of lies.” Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations, later presented to the UN evidence supplied to his government that suggested the Syrian opposition fighters used chemical weapons.


With regards to foreign intervention, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon said, “Providing arms to either side would not address this current situation.” Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) and his father, former congressman Ron Paul (R-Texas) have also cautioned the White House against aiding Syrian rebels.


“You will be funding today the allies of al Qaeda” by aiding Syrian rebels, Sen. Paul said in May.


On his part, the retired lawmaker from Texas insisted that the administration’s lead up to possible intervention is “identical to the massive deception campaign that led us into the Iraq War.”


That isn’t to say the GOP is entirely opposed to taking any action. Although directly using the American military — either through boots-on-the-ground or unmanned aircraft — has been rarely discussed in public, Sens. John McCain (R-Arizona) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC), two long-time leaders within the Republican party, have been relentless with efforts to equip opposition fighters.


"I don't care what it takes," Graham told Foreign Policy’s The Cable earlier this year. "If the choice is to send in troops to secure the weapons sites versus allowing chemical weapons to get in the hands of some of the most violent people in the world, I vote to cut this off before it becomes a problem."


Other US officials have previously said Washington is considering implementing a no-fly zone above Syria, and last month the Pentagon left a fleet of F-16 fighter planes and its Patriot anti-missile system on the border of neighboring Jordan following a routine military drill.





In this proxy war against Iran/Russia/China we'll back extremist terrorist again. Afghanistan anyone?

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The pre-story here is well-known to most: in a repeat fabulation of the Iraq "WMD" lie, the US and the entire developed world "found" Syria to have crossed a red-line when it used chemical weapons, despite subsequent reports that it was the Syrian rebels, aka Qatari mercenaries, who were the party responsible for chemical weapon use. No matter though: the public media campaign was hatched, and merely waited for the catalyst.



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Clearly the Soviet Union, I mean Russia, is our biggest enemy if we're funding Al Qaeda again to fight them.


Washington (CNN) -- Reluctant approval from Congress for providing military support to Syrian rebels allows the Obama administration to move forward with plans first announced almost six weeks ago.

White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters on Tuesday that the goal of the military aid expected to include small arms, ammunition and perhaps anti-tank weapons is to keep the Syrian opposition going against forces aligned with President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

Noting al-Assad's forces have been helped by Hezbollah in Lebanon as well as Iran, Carney said Syrian rebels need the help of the United States and allied nations to withstand an increased assault.

"The aid is intended to help the opposition resist Assad and eventually prevail," Carney said, adding that any resolution of Syria's civil war will require a political transition.

His comment appeared intended to soften any expectations that the rebels could topple the regime by military means alone.

A source speaking on condition of being identified only as an official said Monday that President Barack Obama can begin acting on plans for increased Syrian aid first made public last month now that concerns of Congress had been resolved.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Mike Rogers said Monday that his panel agreed to the administration's plan for military aid despite reservations about its chances for success.

"After much discussion and review, we got a consensus that we could move forward with what the administration's plans and intentions are in Syria consistent with committee reservations," the Michigan Republican said.

At a congressional hearing on Tuesday on next year's defense budget, GOP Rep. Rich Nugent of Florida said he worried that arming Syria rebels today could mean his sons in the military might face those weapons in the future, if they fall into the wrong hands.

"We want to make sure that we don't put our sons or daughters in any jeopardy particularly as it relates to arming those that we have no idea who they are," Nugent said.

The Obama administration has been reluctant to enter another military engagement, but announced on June 13 that it would provide military support to rebel fighters because al-Assad's forces had used chemical weapons.

Its plans so far stop short of calls by some in Congress, such as veteran Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona, to establish a "no-fly" zone over Syria.

In a letter released Monday, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey warned U.S. military involvement would likely cost billions of dollars and include a range of risks for the forces involved.

Eddie Izzard: In Syrian refugee camps, another day of childhood is lost

"It is no less than an act of war," Dempsey wrote to Democratic Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan, who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee.

The United States has learned from the past 10 years "that it is not enough to simply alter the balance of military power without careful consideration of what is necessary in order to preserve a functioning state," Dempsey's letter said in apparent reference to wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Syrian opposition questions Taliban rebel role

McCain, who has long advocated arming Syrian rebels, said Tuesday he was disappointed by Dempsey's letter.

"Most military experts that I know totally disagree" with Dempsey's assessment of the size of the task and U.S. capabilities, McCain said. "The question should be is the status quo acceptable and obviously that is not."

Last month, McCain called for taking out al-Assad's air assets to create a safe zone for the Syrian opposition.

"I know that we have the military capability to impose a 'no-fly' zone, to crater their runways and their fixed installations where fuel and parts are, and establish a 'no-fly' zone with Patriot missiles," McCain said in June.

"And if we can't do that, then the question ought to be asked to the American taxpayer, to the Pentagon, 'What in the world are we wasting tens of billions of dollars for defense for if we can't even take care of this situation?'" McCain said.

Dempsey: Syria intervention is "act of war" that could cost billions

More than 100,000 people have been killed since the Syrian crisis began in March 2011, while refugees fleeing the conflict threaten to overtax government services and destabilize neighboring Jordan.

In Washington, Secretary of State John Kerry met Tuesday with U.N. agencies and other international aid organizations to discuss challenges to addressing what he called a humanitarian crisis.

"We are having a very difficult time being able to access people, move people directly and protect people so we intend to have a very solid, in-depth discussion today about creative ways that we can meet our obligations to human beings who are in huge danger and distress," Kerry said.

He noted his visit this week to a Syrian refugee camp in Jordan where he said he witnessed "the dramatic and unbelievably moving ways in which people are separated from homes and family, so many people murdered and killed in massacres and yet somehow these people try to pull themselves together."

Sources: U.S. to send small arms, ammo to Syrian rebels



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