UN raises death toll in Syria, Iran’s hardline candidates split the vote, and China stays out of Snowden controversy. Today is Thursday, June 13, a sad milestone in Syria’s civil war. Here is the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner and @clarerrrr.
Syrian refugees wait for treatment at a Doctors of the World medical center at the Al Zaatri refugee camp in the Jordanian city of Mafraq, near the border with Syria, June 11, 2013.
Syria death toll hits record high. The United Nations human rights office said at least 93,000 people were killed through April in Syria’s civil war – an increase from the 80,000 figure it released in mid-May – adding that the true number of deaths could be even higher:
The U.N. report said almost 38,000 reported killings had been excluded because records – which require the victim’s full name and date and location of death – were incomplete. “The true number of those killed is potentially much higher,” [U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi] Pillay said. The death toll has averaged more than 5,000 a month since July, and Pillay said this reflected the “drastically deteriorating pattern of the conflict over the past year.” The Damascus region, Homs and Aleppo have been hardest hit. The U.N. figures, based on data from the Syrian government and seven human rights monitoring groups, include civilians and combatants, but give no breakdown. They show that at least 6,561 children were among the dead.
Pro-Assad forces have focused their attention on Syria’s second-largest city, Aleppo, following a victory over rebel forces in Qusair last week. Pillay warns that a battle in Aleppo could lead to more bloodshed and that another win for Assad could decrease the efficacy of any peace talks between opposition and government leaders. An EU arms embargo on Syria was lifted in May, prompting European countries to consider arming the rebels and pressuring the U.S. to decide how to move forward.