MESOP LIVE COVERAGE SYRIA / Another Week of Stalemate?

May 13, 2013 | Scott Lucas in EA Live, Middle East & Turkey, Middle East & Iran

0520 GMT: Another Week of Stalemate?

The weekend was marked by the distinction between claims of advance by each side. Supporters of the insurgency asserted breakthroughs against regime airbases, while State media headlined the taking of “key towns”.

Some Western outlets, looking for a story, played along. The Washington Post headlined, “Assad Forces Gaining Ground in Syria“.

In fact, there was little significant movement on the ground — the Post story was based on no more than vague statements by “analysts”, and the claimed breakthroughs never materialised.

Instead, the ongoing narrative was of clashes, more refugees, and the steady if “normal” stream of casualties. The Local Coordination Committees reported 91 deaths on Sunday, including 33 in Damascus and its suburbs.

The Violations Documentation Center puts the confirmed death toll at 60,208 since the conflict begin in March 2011, an increase of 109 from Sunday. Of those killed, 47,137 were civilians, a rise of 62 from yesterday.