In light of the difficulties I have had obtaining a complete transcript of the speech of Saif Al Gaddafi of 20th February 2011 I am now putting on record information given by the Syrian President Bashar Al Assad in an interview he gave today to the Sunday Times.  In this interview Assad claimed that the total civilian death toll in the crisis so far is not 3,500 as claimed by the UN but 619 to which should be added around 800 members of the security forces who have killed in rebel attacks.

Incidentally I also record that following my long Libya post an acquaintance of a friend of mine who speaks Arabic has also attempted to find on the internet the complete Arab text of Saif Al Gaddafi’s speech of 20th February 2011 but has been unable to do so.


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