Each week, HuffPost World will provide the top stories out of Syria and a recap of events in the country's year-long uprising, as President Bashar Assad’s regime continues its bloody crackdown.
March 22 - 30 In Review
- On Tuesday, March 27, the UN increased its estimate of the civilian death toll in Syria by nearly 1,000, bringing the total to more than 9,000 killed since last March.
- Kofi Annan presented a six-point peace plan, which was endorsed by the Arab League and accepted by the Syrian government. Syrian President Assad later demanded that opposition 'terrorist' groups stop the violence as a condition of implementing the plan.
- 2 Syrian army colonels were killed by gunmen in Aleppo, Syria's largest city.
- US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton traveled to Saudi Arabia to meet with officials and discuss a unified strategy for Syria. Saudi Arabia has favored an approach including arming the rebels.
- Foreign Secretary William Hague announced that the UK would send $795,000 worth of non-lethal aid to the Syrian opposition.
- According to activists, around 40 people were killed when the military overran the northern city of Saraqeb.
- Belgium, Turkey, and Norway all closed their embassies in Syria.
Media Not To Miss
Spiegel Online -- 'An Executioner for Syria's Rebels Tells His Story'
Syrian rebels calling themselves the "burial brigade" have taken it upon themselves to kill the men allied with President Assad's regime. One rebel unapologetically tells of the group's work.
"Hussein didn't care if the man had been beaten into a confession, or that he was terrified of death and had begun to stammer prayers. It was his tough luck that the rebels had caught him."
U.N. human rights chief Navi Pillay said in an interview that she believes Syrian forces have intentionally killed and tortured children.
They've gone for the children - for whatever purposes - in large numbers. Hundreds detained and tortured...it's just horrendous...children shot in the knees, held together with adults in really inhumane conditions, denied medical treatment for their injuries, either held as hostages or as sources of information.
GlobalPost -- 'Syria: Inside The Latest Assault On Saraqeb'
GlobalPost correspondent James Foley reported from Saraqeb, northern Syria, that the town had been in rebel control but is now in the hands of the Syrian army.
As Syrian forces moved to secure Saraqeb on Monday, rebel fighters packed their blankets, water pipes, guns and odd laptops into trucks. Along with many families, including women and children, they sped off into the night. Red tracers flew overhead. Once safely outside, they slept in farms and small villages, plotting their return.
Syrian President Bashar Assad toured the Baba Amr neighborhood of Homs on Tuesday.
"Baba Amr will be much better than before," Assad told dozens of residents as he surveyed the destruction wrought on the neighbourhood in a month-long assault by regime forces.
The brief visit, which was aired on state television, marked a rare public appearance by the embattled head of state who is in the throes of an unprecedented revolt against his regime.
New York Times -- 'Neighbors Said To Be At Violent Odds In Syrian Crackdown'
Syrian refugees described an extremely sectarian crackdown in Syria, with some civilians shooting at their former neighbors.
The refugees’ firsthand accounts painted a picture of a section of western Syria that is more thoroughly under siege — and perhaps more widely in revolt — than has previously been depicted.
“The army wants to displace people to get them away from the protests,” said Abu Munzer, 59, a Syrian Army veteran from the village of Mazaria, huddling by a wood stove in a cinder-block farmhouse with about 20 other refugees; like most people interviewed, he was afraid to give his full name. “If they die or they leave, there will be no one there to protest.”