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Entries in Tommy Vietor (2)


Syria Live Coverage: Scores Die in Mass Killings and Aleppo Blasts

1856 GMT: Death Toll Rises. According to the Local Coordination Committees, 142 people have been killed so far today:

41 martyrs were reported in Damascus and its suburbs; 37 in Homs; 25 in Aleppo; 11 in Hama; 6 in Daraa; 15 in Idlib; 4 in Lattakia; 2 in Raqqa; and 1 in Hasakeh.

What's interesting about this number is that it may not include any of those reportedly killed om Idlib's car bomb blasts. The LCC uses their own verification techniques, and they are unlikely to have any access to this site, as it has been controlled by the government since right after the blast. This means that once again the death toll may be nearing 200, an indication of the intensification of the situation in many cities across Syria.

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

1838 GMT: Iran and Syria Enter Deal. Reuters reports that according to SANA, "Syria and Iran have agreed a $1 billion credit facility between Commercial Bank of Syria and Export Development Bank of Iran," as well as several other agreements on energy. The announcement is bad news for those who have been happy with the effectiveness of sanctions against the Assad government.

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Obama Special: How the Administration Abandoned Its Promise to Close Guantanamo (Finn and Kornblut)

The one theme that repeatedly emerged in interviews was a belief that the White House never pressed hard enough on what was supposed to be a signature goal. Although the closure of Guantanamo Bay was announced in an executive order, which Obama signed on Jan. 22, 2009, the fanfare never translated into the kind of political push necessary to sustain the policy.

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