Syria's bloodiest day
You have to wonder how long this can go on. Reports that up to 1/4 of the entire Syrian army has deserted or defected may be driving President Assad to greater brutality as he seeks to somehow defeat the rebels and tamp down the rebellion against his rule.
Syrian opposition groups that track casualties reported on Friday that the previous day was the deadliest so far this year, and possibly in the entire Syrian uprising, with as many as 190 civilians killed in a 24-hour period.
The dead on Thursday were scattered in towns and cities throughout Syria, with the largest number concentrated in the Damascus suburb of Douma, about eight miles northwest of the city, according to reports from both the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a group based in Britain, and the Local Coordination Committees, a Syrian-based group.
Neither the tallies provided by antigovernment activists nor the distinctions made by the groups between opposition fighters killed while battling Syrian government forces and unarmed civilians caught in the cross-fire could be verified independently.
A spokesman for the Syrian Observatory said the death toll on Thursday, which activists said did not include fighters with the opposition Free Syrian Army, was the worst of any single day this year, with 125 confirmed fatalities and another 65 under investigation. The observatory considers a death confirmed when videotape or other documentary evidence identifying the victim is received.
Supporting Assad is putting Russia in an increasingly untenable position. Eventually, the body count will be so high, Putin will be forced to reconsider his position. That may be the beginning of the end for the Syrian dictator who needs Russian arms and Russia's veto at the UN. Without either of those, he can't last very long.