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Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: On Verge of "Hell" or "Sacred Birth"?

See also Sunday's Syria Live Coverage: "220 Executed" as Regime Advances in Homs

1935 GMT: Syria. Brown Moses considers a video, circulating since Saturday, claiming to be of a regime soldier executed by an Islamist brigade in Harem in Idlib Province.

Harem, just over a mile from the Turkish border, was captured by insurgents last week.

1930 GMT: Syria. Claimed footage of insurgents blowing up a regime tank today:

1800 GMT: Syria. The Local Coordination Committees say 84 people have been killed today, including 39 in Damascus and its suburbs and 17 in Aleppo Province.

1500 GMT: Syria. The Syrian military's General Command has put out a ddeclaration of victories over "armed terrorist groups", claiming that attacks on an air-defence battalion and on Aleppo International Airport were foiled.

The Command asserts that regime forces have retaken Morek, one of the towns captured near Hama earlier this month by insurgents.

The most interesting reference, however, is that "the army cleared Deir B'albeh neighborhood in Homs after eliminating huge numbers of terrorists and seizing large amounts of weapons and ammunition". The Command does not mention the claim that its troops executed 220 people after the military moved into the area.

1455 GMT: Syria. Fo0otage of insurgents taking an oil pumping station in Raqqa Province:

1320 GMT: Syria. Activists report that regime forces, backed by tanks, have tried to recapture the Damascus suburb of Darayya in one of the largest military operations in months in the area.

Five people, including one child, died from army rocket fire, the activists said.

"This is the biggest attack on Daraya in two months. An armored column is trying to advance but it being held (back) by the Free Syrian Army," said Abu Kinan, an opposition activist. He claimed that tens of thousands of civilians have fled Darayya during weeks of shelling but that 5000 remained, along with hundreds of insurgents.

Another activist said Darayya has been a firing position for insurgents using mortars and homemade rockets, targeting a huge Presidential complex located at a hilltop overlooking Damascus and pro-Assad militia in an Alawite enclave known as Mezze 86.

"So far they have missed the palace but they are getting better. I think the regime has realized that it no longer can afford to have such a threat so close by, but it has failed to overrun Daraya before," he said.

1314 GMT: Syria. In a speech to the People's Assembly, Prime Minister Wael al-Halki has admitted growing economic problems, blaming "unfair sanctions" that have affected imports and exports.

The Prime Minister specifically mentioned the crisis over diesel and gas supplies.

Al-Halki added, "The armed terrorist groups targeted the productive and service institutions and caused huge damage to the national economy and the daily life of the citizens."

The Premier said some national oil stations have resumed work and insisted there will be adequate supplies of diesel soon.

1311 GMT: Syria. State news agency SANA has said a "terrorist group" blew up a natural gas pipeline in Deir Ez Zor Province in the east, with the loss of around 1.5 million cubic meters of gas.

1304 GMT: Egypt. The Central Bank's intervention, through currency auctions, has failed to halt the slide in the Egyptian pound so far.

In the second auction, held today, the Bank $74.8m at a cut-off price of 6.3050 Egyptian pounds to the dollar. This was a weakening about 1% from Sunday's opening level 6.2425:1.

The Bank also said corporate clients cannot withdraw more than $30,000 in cash per day and announced it will charge individuals who buy foreign currencies an administrative fee of 1% to 2%.

1143 GMT: Iraq. In an interview with Someria TV, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has accused Turkey of trying to “divide Iraq” into Arab and Kurdish entities.

Maliki has been angered by Ankara's consideration of oil agreements with the Kurdistan Regional Government, defying Baghdad's injunction against deals that are not approved by the central government.

1139 GMT: Syria. The pro-regime daily Al-Watan claims that four Turkish pilots were arrested as they were trying to infiltrate a military airport in Aleppo Province of Aleppo. Russia's RIA added that the pilots were accompanied by insurgents.

Ankara has not responded to the allegation.

1032 GMT: Iraq. At least 11 people have been killed and more than 40 injured in a series of explosions across the country, officials say.

In the deadliest attack, seven people were killed in the town of Mussayib, to the south of Baghdad. At least two people were killed in the southern city of Hilla when a bomb exploded in a busy street.

In the northern city of Kirkuk, a series of co-ordinated attacks targeted security forces, with one bomb killing two policemen and wounding four civilians.

In the eastern province of Diyala, at least 10 people were wounded in an attack on a Shia procession.

0852 GMT: Egypt. Rebel Economy offers a useful beginner's guide to Egypt's economic problems, with a looming crisis over foreign reserves.

0645 GMT: Iraq. More footage has emerged of Sunday's confrontation when thousands of mostly-Sunni protesters turned away Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq, also a Sunni, as he tried to dissuade them from continuing a week-long demonstration against discrimination and alleged Government oppression of the religious minority --- the protesters threw stone as al-Mutlaq's guards opened fire, wounding two people:

0630 GMT: Syria. As the deaths continued this weekend --- the Local Coordination Committees said 130 people were killed on Sunday, while most of the media continued to ignore the claim of 220 executions on Saturday when regime forces took a Homs district --- contrasting statements from two politicians....

United Nations envoy Lakhdar Brahimi warned of a country turning into "hell", with 100,000 more dead in the next 12 months:

I say that the solution must be this year: 2013, and, God willing, before the second anniversary of this crisis. A solution is still possible but is getting more complicated every day.

The situation in Syria is bad, very, very bad, and it is getting worse and the pace of deterioration is increasing. People are talking about Syria being split into a number of small states....This is not what will happen, what will happen is Somalisation, war lords.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, addressing some of the 150,000 Syrian refugees in his country as the head of the Syrian opposition National Coalition stood next to him, had a different vision --- a "sacred birth" replacing President Assad with the will of the people:

We can see very clearly that God's help is close. Don't forget victory comes to those who are patient.

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