» Possibly the deadliest day since the Syrian uprising began: Approximately 10,000 civilians have been killed since protests against the Assad regime began in March 2011, according to the U.N. — though these numbers are tough to verify independently because Assad’s government has made it difficult for journalists to report freely.
» Speaking to members of his cabinet today, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said the following: “We are in a state of real war, in every aspect of the words, and when we’re in a state of war, all of our politics has to be concentrated on winning this war.” His remarks coincided, whether deliberately or not, with a highly bloody day for Syria, according to opposition activists. Additionally, the UN Security Council met today for briefing on the monitor mission in Syria, which will continue to be suspended due to the dire state of security.
» The reports are unverified, to be clear. Which means we suppose the number could be a bit higher, or a bit lower. That can feel like a coldly academic way to examine this, we admit, considering how many people have already died during the last year of upheaval in Syria; the UN estimates that 9,000 Syrians have died since March 2011. This surge in killings (and shelling against the city of Hama, in particular) is what many observers feared regarding the Assad government’s agreement to accept a peace deal orchestrated by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan – with a set deadline for ending the violence in sight, it can be used as a license to step up the bloodshed until the date requiring a full ceasefire, April 12th.
» “Indiscriminant bombardment by tank and rocket fire”: Those were the words of the UN’s undersecretary general for political affairs, Lynn Pascoe. The killing in Syria has reached something of a fever pitch in past months, with the bombardment of Homs in particular leading to grim headlines, and truly ghastly footage. The UN currently estimates that over 100 people per day are being killed by Bashar al-Assad’s security forces. Said U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, on Assad as a war criminal: “I think that based on definitions of war criminal and crimes against humanity, there would be an argument to be made that he would fit into that category.”