Updated at 11:40 a.m. ET: At least 30 civilians were killed Wednesday when Syrian warplanes bombed a gas station in a suburb on the eastern edge of Damascus, opposition campaigners told news agencies, as the United Nations announced that the death toll from the conflict had surpassed 60,000.
"The number of casualties is much higher than we expected and is truly shocking," U.N. Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay said, citing an "exhaustive" U.N.-commissioned study into more than a year and a half of fighting in Syria....
NBC's Frances Kuo
This is just awful news to start the New Year 60,000 dead and dozens more today alone. I have not written any articles recently on Syria being the holidays and family obligations have gotten in the way. I was also feeling down my writing and videos were not making much of a difference as I received much more opposition then support and few readers rarely getting more then 10 votes.
I know I am not the only one here on Newsvine there is other true believers in the cause for a free Syria and bobby3053155 is one of them. He may be too modest to admit this but he has done more for the Free Syria cause on Newsvine then anyone else. In fact without his writing and covering the issue in the early days I may have never became enlightened that I too had to do something.
I have written articles, put together videos, created images, seeded some articles about Syria. I have become increasingly more hawkish towards the Syrian government. I started out with the hope this thing could have a political solution. The Houla massacre changed everything for me though seeing all those young children lying dead that had been shot to death at point blank range with high powered automatic weapons and hacked with swords and knives to death made me see the true terror, horror, and depravity of this regime. How can you compromise with a regime as brutal as this? How could this regime love power so much he is willing to murder young children in mass killings just to be able to continue to wield that power? How can after all this the world stay largely silent and idle?
I had enough and I knew it would take a war to bring this regime down. I still think that and believe a war will be required by the West and the United States to bring down this brutal and thuggish regime. I think the longer we ignore this inevitability the many more innocents will die and the more costly both in terms of life and treasure it will cost us.
I have been attacked for this position by many. I have been called a warmonger, evil, ignorant, naive, suggestions that I want certain children to die so that other children may live. They have called me a liar, deceitful, a sociopath hiding behind fake emotions. They have said if a war is waged my hands will be stained with blood. I even received a death threat as such from who I believe to be supporters of Bashar al-Assad or directly connected to the regime. They said I should be beaten, burned, and hacked to death and all of us who dare go against Bashar will face the same fate. He then went on praising all the things Bashar has done for the people. I was truly terrified as the way his comment was written seemed like he meant every word of it. No one then can accuse me of not being a true believer to take all this abuse and threats and still continue to speak out.
I would like to invite those who are interested to join our group here on Newsvine Free Syria. I know being truthful to the abuse and threats we have faced because of taking up this cause is not a very good recruitment tool but I wanted people to know what we have been dealing with. Others in the group have dealt with similar abuse and threats. Thus only join if you are prepared for that possibility. I think that says something being the fact were getting such opposition shows this must be a group actually having some influence and at the very least stirring up interest on a very important topic. The Syrian men, women, and children need our help more then ever, make your voice heard and let them know you can hear their voices. The Syrians need all the support and advocates they can get in this critical time. Join today and help make a difference even if only a small one.