LATEST: Video — Claimed Footage of 92 Syrian Troops Defecting in Deir Ez Zor Province on Thursday

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PHOTO: Scene of car bomb in Jaramana near Damascus on Thursday — 10 people were killed

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon put down a significant marker on Thursday, as he said that more than 100,000 people have been killed since the Syrian conflict began in March 2011.

Ban, speaking before talks with US Secretary of State John Kerry, called on the regime and opposition to halt the violence, saying it was “imperative to have a peace conference in Geneva as soon as possible”.

Kerry offered the platitude, “There is no military solution to Syria. There is only a political solution, and that will require leadership in order to bring people to the table.”

Last month, UN officials increased their estimate of deaths to nearly 93,000.

Other organizations are more cautious in their declarations. The Violations Documentation Center puts the number of dead at 67,408 — of these, 51,245 are civilians.

On the other hand, the toll might be much higher — the regime stopped putting out reports of slain security forces early in the conflict, and there is no reliable figure for the dead among the military, police, and pro-regime militia.

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Video: At Least Ten Dead, 50 Wounded In Rocket Attack On Bab Al Nairab, Aleppo

At least ten people have been killed and another fifty wounded in a surface-to-surface missile attack on Aleppo’s Bab Al Nairab district, southeast of the Old City.

Footage posted on Friday evening by activists shows frantic scenes of local residents searching through rubble at night for survivors.

This first video shows the rocket hitting the neighborhood this evening:

The next three videos show the search for survivors and injured people evacuated after being pulled from the rubble.

Video: Claimed Footage of 92 Syrian Troops Defecting in Deir Ez Zor Province on Thursday

Videos: Fighting in Sukhna, Homs Province

There are several amateur videos with claimed footage of fighting in Sukhna, where activists are claiming that regime forces conducted a mass killing of civilians.

Video, posted on Thursday, claims to show insurgents from Jabhat al-Nusra storming the city after a suicide attack:

For full story, now see War Story — From Insurgent Bombing to Mass Killing in Sukhna

Claim: Mass Killing in Sukhna in Homs Province

Activists are claiming that at least 22 people have been killed by regime forces in Sukhna town in Homs Province.

The activists cite local sources that the killing followed an attack by the Free Syrian Army, blowing up a military security building and a checkpoint in Sukhnah town with two car bombs.

For full story, now see War Story — From Insurgent Bombing to Mass Killing in Sukhna

Opposition Head Appeals to US for Arms

Ahmad Asi al-Jarba, the head of the opposition Syrian National Coalition, met US Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday in New York and renewed his appeal for arms.

Jarba is in the middle of a tour of Western leader and will see United Nations Security Council envoys on Friday.

After the discussion with Kerry, Jarba asserted that President Assad is “pursuing a military victory using indiscriminate weapons ranging from chemical weapons to cluster bomb.”

He continued:

Until the regime has been forced to accept a political solution, we must have the means to protect ourselves and defend civilians.

To deny us the right to self-defense is to risk that the regime will survive: thousands will be executed, the repression will continue without end….

American leadership and drive is essential to end this war and bring the democracy that the large majority of the Syrian people want.

Jarba, elected earlier this month to head the Coalition, said it “fully understands American concerns about extremism and the possible diversion of military assistance” and “is 100% committed to an inclusive democracy for all Syrians, regardless of religion or ethnicity”.

Kerry said he had a “positive” meeting with Jarba but would not discuss US arms supplies.

Instead, the Secretary of State focused on the repeatedly-delayed initiative for an international peace conference, “The Syrian opposition committed that they believe Geneva II is very important and they agreed to work over the course of the next couple of weeks to pinpoint the terms, the conditions, under which they think that it can work.”

Opposition groups have insisted that Assad must agree to step aside before they will join the conference. The regime has rejected that condition.

Kerry insisted, “There is a strong feeling that Geneva is important and we will work it out.”