23 dead in Syria clashes
The fighting between army defectors and the military continues to escalate while authorities continue to gun down civilians in the streets of Syria.
At least 23 people were reported killed in Syria on Saturday as violence intensified in the eighth month of unrest against President Bashar al-Assad, pushing the death toll close to 4,600, according to a leading activist group.
In a three-hour, night-time battle in the north-western city of Idlib near the Turkish border, seven members of the security forces, five army rebels and three civilians were killed, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said.
Five civilians were shot dead by security forces in central Homs province, and a man's body was returned to his family five days after he had been arrested.
The United Nations' top human rights forum has condemned Syria for "gross and systematic" violations by its forces, including executions and the imprisonment of some 14,000 people.
Syrian authorities say they are fighting foreign-backed "terrorist groups" trying to spark civil war who have killed some 1,100 soldiers and police since March.
If the uprising is bolstered by army defectors with guns, Assad's days are indeed numbered. It is doubtful the Syrian dictator could survive a full scale civil war. The economy is already collapsing and the sanctions put on the country by the Arab League have yet to realize their full effect.A civil war will only lead to general chaos and the prospect that to save the country, Assad's military may see their own survival dependent on removing the dictator from power.