The United Nations refugee agency UNHCR reports that Syria’s refugees in Lebanon passed 1 million on Wednesday.
The Syrian refugees now make up almost 20% of the Lebanese population.
In April 2012, there were 18,000 Syrian refugees in Lebanon, and in April 2013, there were 356,000. More than 2,500 new refugees are being registered each day.
Of Syria’s pre-war population of 22 million, almost 12% — 2.6 million — are refugees, and an estimated 5 million are displaced inside the country.
Claims of Chemical Weapons Attack in Jobar in Damascus
Amid heavy clashes between regime forces and insurgents, claims are circulating of a chemical weapons attack by the Syrian military.
Claimed Video: Syrian Forces Retake Tower 45 in Northern Latakia
Footage has been posted which claims to be of Syrian troops atop Tower 45, a key hilltop overlooking villages in northern Latakia Province in western Syria:
Insurgents took Tower 45 at the start of their offensive almost two weeks ago and have been repelling regime counter-attacks this week.
Chechen Commander of Insurgent Faction Killed in Aleppo Province
The commander of the Chechen-led faction Jaish al-Muhajireen wal Ansar, Muhannad Shishani, has been killed in fighting in Aleppo Province, according to the Kavkaz Center website.
JMA has been fighting in Sheikh Najjar, east of Aleppo, alongside the Nuraddin az-Zinki brigade and the Islamist faction Jabhat al-Nusra.
14 Regime Barrel Bomb on Sheikh Najjar Near Aleppo, 5 Killed & Dozens Wounded
Pro-opposition Orient News claims the regime dropped 14 barrel bombs on Sheikh Najjar, east of Aleppo, killing five people and wounding dozens:
Regime forces have been attacking the insurgent-held village and the nearby industrial area for weeks.
(h/t Joanna Paraszczuk)
Regime Ground Offensive Moves on Southeastern Suburbs of Damascus
Sam Dagher of The Wall Street Journal reports on a Syrian military offensive after the breakdown of local ceasefires near Damascus:
— Sam Dagher (@samdagher) April 3, 2014
Rocket strike on Mleha:
Aftermath of a barrel bomb on Mleha:
(h/t Joanna Paraszczuk)
Death Toll Surges, with 111 Killed on Wednesday
The death toll in Syria spiked on Wednesday, passing the 100 mark for the first time in several days.
The Local Coordination Committees reported that 111 people were killed, including five women and 11 children. Of the deaths, 37 were in Idlib Province, 32 in Damascus and its suburbs, and 19 in Aleppo Province.
State news agency SANA claims 13 civilians were killed by insurgents’ mortar attacks in and near Damascus.
The Violations Documentation Center records the deaths of 92,056 people since the start of the conflict in March 2011. Of the dead, 67,422 were civilians.
The VDC’s toll is conservative, as it only counts those casualties it can confirm and it does not document the deaths of regime forces.
On Wednesday, heavy fighting continued in the Jobar section of Damascus, and regime airstrikes were reported throughout the country. Insurgents continued to hold gains in their two-week offensive in Latakia Province in western Syria.
A barrel bomb on Daraa city:
Aftermath of an airstrike in Daraa Province in southern Syria:
Aftermath of regime attack on Ajjbailah in Deir Ez Zor Province: