2112 GMT: Syria. In recent weeks France has significantly stepped up its rhetorical attacks on the Assad regime. President Hollande has even moved for the recognition of a transitional government, and has asked for an internationally imposed no-fly zone.
Originally, most scoffed at this as a political move to make Hollande look strong, since there is no international appetite for such moves. However, Reuters now suggests that France is supporting local governments in 3 Syrian provinces, and is even considering supplying artillery or other weapons to enable rebels to defend Aleppo, Idlib, and Deir Ez Zor from Assad forces:
Paris said last week it had identified areas in the north, south and east that had escaped President Bashar al-Assad's control, creating a chance for local communities to govern themselves without residents feeling they had to flee Syria.
"In zones where the regime has lost control, such as Tal Rifaat (40 km north of Aleppo), which has been free five months, local revolutionary councils have been set up to help the population and put in place an administration for these towns so as to avoid chaos like in Iraq when the regime pulls back," the source said.
2100 GMT: Syria. Since this morning we've been watching the LCC's death toll rise. Now, as we could have anticipated based on other reports we've seen, the number has hit 260, and could easily continue to rise: