According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), cited by the Guardian on Sunday night, 4,851 people were killed in January in Syria, second only to August, when the civil war is believed to have claimed 4,933-5,440 lives.
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SOHR director Rami Abdul Rahman said that his men documented 1,030 casualties among security forces and 3,305 casualties among civilians and rebel forces.
The organization estimates that since the uprising began in March 2011, some 16,751 people were killed, 3,717 of them children.
This is a much more conservative assessment than the UN's, which stands at 60,000.
Brother carries sister after Aleppo bombing (Photo: AP)
The SOHR reported Sunday that Assad's forces bombed the Ansari neighborhood in Aleppo, killing 11 people, including five children.
Another organization reported 15 killed in the bombing. A video posted online shows a devastated building and dozens of people digging in the ruins in search of survivors.
A child killed in Aleppo bombing (Photo: AP)
"That man's family is still buried under there," a man can be heard saying in the video.
Against the backdrop of the high casualty rates as well as the increasing distress of the Syrian refugees, the possibility of a diplomatic breakthrough has raised its head.
Rebel hit by snipers in Damascus (Photo: Reuters)
The meeting, which took place on the sideline of the Munich Security Conference, marked the first time the two officials met since al-Khatib was appointed for office in late 2012.
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