Syria Crisis: Assad's Revival Suggests Long War

The World

Children play outside a house in Qusair, Syria, after the city's 'liberation' by the forces of President Assad's forces and Hezbollah. (Photo: REUTERS/Rami Bleibel)

The United Nations said Thursday it has documented the deaths of 93,000 people in Syria since the civil war began. That's just the cases they've fully documented, with a name, date and place; the true toll could be three times as many. There seems to be no end in sight. If anything, the government of President Bashar al-Assad appears to have been given a new lease on life, according to Borzou Daragahi. Daragahi helps cover the Middle East for the Financial Times. The change in fortunes follows intervention by Assad's allies, Russia, Iran and the powerful Lebanese Shi-ite militia, Hezbollah. Hezbollah has taken a direct role in the fighting and has given Assad his first truly professional fighting force. The opposition response has only shown their weakness and disunity, says Daragahi. The rebels' public image has further suffered from increasing reports of atrocities. This includes the public execution of a 14-year-old coffee vendor in Aleppo, who was accused of taking the name of the Prophet Muhammad in vain. There was no trial.
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