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Entries in Refugees (6)


Syria Live Coverage: More than 1 Million Refugees

2055 GMT: Death Toll Rises. According to the Local Coordination Committees, 127 people have died so far today across the nation:

34 in Damascus and its Suburbs, 27 martyrs in Homs, 18 in Raqqa, 19 in Idlib, 15 in Aleppo, 6 in Deir Ezzor, 4 in Lattakia , 2 in Hama and 1 in Daraa

See our note on the casualty figures published by the LCC.

It's worth noting that the numbers coming from Al Raqqah and Homs rival those in Damascus, Idlib, and Aleppo - the locations of the fiercest fighting on the front lines.

2036 GMT: Rebel Leadership Condemns Kidnapping. Now a statement of condemnation from the leader of the Supreme Military Council, Salim Idriss:

Meanwhile, the Free Syrian Army (FSA) - the main rebel fighting force - condemned the seizure of the UN observers.

FSA leader Gen Salim Idriss told the BBC's Newshour programme he would "do everything what I can to liberate them".

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Syria Audio Analysis: Why Politics Means No Humanitarian Aid - Scott Lucas with Monocle 24 Lucas speaks to Monocle 24 Radio about the reasons why we're seeing countries scramble to give other types of aid to the rebels, but humanitarian aid is almost nowhere to be seen. In fact, less than a quarter of the humanitarian aid that has been pledged to those affected by this crisis has been delivered. The Saudis, in particular, have been criticized for their lack of aid.

Scott Lucas was joined by David Schenker of the Washington Institute. Scott's assessment - this is politics, the Saudis and the Qataris are focused on trying to pick a winner in the insurgency, and the refugees are almost on their own, while the few countries that are housing refugees have not received the assistances they've asked for.

The interview starts after the 1 hour 6 minute mark, and can be heard here.

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Syria Live Coverage: Watching the Attack in Damascus

2058 GMT: Idlib. Rania Abouzeid reports new rebel offenses against several key bases in Idlib province, including Wadi Deif which is the main base near Ma'arrat al Nouman (map) and the Abu Dhuhur military airport (map, also see update 1341). This time, she writes, the offensives are different, as the rebels organize to take some of the last key Assad bases in the north:

On Wednesday, the push to take it was forcefully renewed, but unlike previous offensives here and elsewhere that tend to be disorganized, poorly coordinated actions by a few brigades, this phase of the battle has been carefully planned over many weeks. It is not an isolated fight but part of a wider strategy, codenamed Marakit il Bina il Marsoos, or the Battle of Reinforced Structures, to open all the remaining fronts in Idlib province at around the same time — Wadi Deif, the Karmid Checkpoint, the Mastoomeh Checkpoint, the Abu Duhoor military airport and the smaller checkpoints associated with these outposts — before rebels turn their full attention to the regime forces concentrated in Idlib city, the provincial capital, and the city of Jisr al-Shughour, the two key urban areas still in the regime’s firm grip. If the rebels succeed, they will have created the first liberated province in Syria, an area completely free of regime forces and a de facto safe zone — without direct international help.

Read the entire article here.

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Syria Live Coverage: The Refugee Emergency Grows

2019 GMT: Death Toll Reaches 112. According to the Local Coordination Committees, 112 people have been killed today nationwide:

28 martyrs were reported in Damascus and its Suburbs, 18 in Homs including an entire family, 17 in Daraa, 17 in Aleppo, 16 in Idlib, 10 in Hama, 3 in Deir Ezzor, 2 in Raqqa and 1 in Hassakeh.

See our note on the casualty figures published by the LCC.

2015 GMT: Idlib Prison Captured by Rebels. Rebel forces have stormed the central Idlib prison, releasing 300 prisoners according to activists. Several videos show the battle for the prison and the releasing of some prisoners:

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Syria Special: Will Turkey Back Foreign Intervention? (Cagaptay and Meral)

Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan & Syrian President AssadSince the beginning of the political crisis in Syria, no country has been more outspoken about the atrocities of the Assad regime than Turkey. Faced with a desire to strengthen its popularity in the region, and faced with a humanitarian crisis on its door, Turkey was forthright in its criticism. By the late fall of 2011, Turkey was pushing the international community towards action and was increasingly hostile towards Damascus, both behind closed doors and in front of them.

So what happened to Turkey's zeal to end the crisis in Syria? The answer to that question may tip off that the fate of foreign intervention lies in Ankara's hands.

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Complications of War: Jordan and the Iraqi Refugees

Jordan has provided a safe haven for Iraq’s never-ending stream of war refugees, as the country has kept its borders open long after other regional destinations have closed. According to recent estimates, Iraqis constitute somewhere between 8 to 12 percent of the Jordanian population. Jordan’s goodwill is, however, nearing its breaking point, due to resource strains, security concerns and continued violence inside Iraq. Moreover, the humanitarian crisis created by this situation has raised numerous challenges and questions of ethics and transparency in refugee management and service provision, which many in the government and NGO world did not foresee.