The bodies of at least 79 people, mostly young men who were apparently victims of “summary executions” were found Saturday in Daraya a southwestern suburb of Damascus, opposition activists said. These deaths raise the death toll in Daraya to 149 people, according to the opposition.
Meanwhile, fierce fighting between rebels and soldiers reported Saturday in Aleppo. The official SANA news agency said for its part that the armed forces had “purified” Seif al-Dawla district of “armed terrorist groups”, killing several of them. Since the beginning of the revolt against President Bashar al-Assad in March 2011, violence has left some 25,000 dead.
On the political level, Lakhdar Brahimi, the new international mediator for Syria, said he was “flattered and touched” but also “scared” by the mission that awaits him. Mr. Brahimi will work from New York, while the UN mission, set up in April to monitor a cease-fire which was never applied, packed up after having to end its patrols in June due to the growing of violence. Its leader, General Babacar Gaye of Senegal, left Damascus on Saturday.