According to reports, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) is claiming that more than 300 people – 98 soldiers, 139 civilians and 65 rebels – were killed in Syria on Thursday. This would make it the highest death toll in a single day for the whole of the conflict.
As the confusion in Syria seemed to reach new levels in the past few days – with rebels reportedly killing three of Assad’s top security officials and seizing control of the military’s border outpost near Iraq and with Assad allegedly having fled Damascus following an “information blackout” – these reports of casualties have become even less credible.
The SOHR has always been a bit of a sketchy source, despite its widespread use in the mainstream media. Rami Abdulrahman, the Syrian ex-pat who runs the UK-based organization
from his London apartment, allegedly took control of the website from another individual, stealing the SOHR name when the violence in Syria picked up. Abdulrahman has been said to have suspicious ties to various groups and has been found to have reported false and fabricated information in the past. Amnesty International, on the other hand, has said that “the information provided by the Observatory has generally been credible and well researched and founded.” Antiwar.com has cited their numbers – always noting where they came from – while allowing readers to apply their own scrutiny. The truth is that very few people have a clear idea of the reality on the ground.
Given the chaos and increased uncertainty inside Syria, this alleged casualty count is being noted on the blog as opposed to the news section. The Syria issue has become very precarious and the interventionists in Washington are getting louder and louder in their calls for a so-called humanitarian intervention, the consequences of which would be far worse than anything seen so far in Syria.