The violence continues in Aleppo as pro-government forces try to dislodge the rebel Free Syrian Army using heavy artillery and air strikes. Accurate figures of the death toll are impossible but observers say that anywhere between 18 and 20,000 people have died in Syria since the violence started.
Meanwhile the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation meeting in Mecca, is expected to suspend Syria’s membership, despite the objects raised by Iran, Syria’s longtime ally. The move would be largely symbolic. The crisis exposes Sunni/Shia differences across the region: Iran is Shi-ite Muslim and the embattled Syrian leadership is dominated by the Alawite Sect, which is a Shi-ite Muslim off-shoot, but the Syrian rebels are mainly Sunni Muslims, as are the governments of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey.