Peace envoy warns of escalating toll as 400 Syrians die in one day

The Washington Post reports: The Syrian civil war could claim 100,000 more lives over the next year if the government and the rebels fighting it do not negotiate a settlement, the international peace mediator warned Sunday.

“What is happening in Syria is bad, very, very bad,” said Lakhdar Brahimi, who is charged by the United Nations and the Arab League with seeking a peaceful end to 21 months of hostilities that have killed 44,000 Syrians. Speaking at the Arab League headquarters in Cairo, Brahimi added: “It is also escalating. If we have 50,000 killed in almost two years and the war stays another year, we will not have 25,000 more, we will have 100,000 more killed.”

Brahimi issued his chilling prediction after one of the deadliest 24-hour periods in the conflict, which began in March 2011. Opposition groups that monitor the death toll said as many as 400 people — more than double the typical daily death toll — were killed Saturday. About half of them were civilians slain in an alleged mass killing carried out by government troops at a petrochemical university in central Syria, opposition groups reported. [Continue reading...]

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