Thursday marks the anniversary of the uprising in Syria, as the government of Bashar al-Assad continues a tough crackdown on anti-government protesters. Neighbouring Turkey said in the last 24 hours, more than 1,000 people seeking refuge from the intense fight have crossed the border into Turkish territory. The United Nations calculates that more than 8,000 people have been killed in Syria in the past twelve months, while another 230,000 have been displaced and 30,000 more fled the country altogether.
The anniversary of the conflict comes in the wake of a trip by former U.N. secretary-general Koffi Annan as a special UN-Arab League envoy to Syria, in which he tried to broker a deal with Assad, whose family has ruled the Arab country for decades. Annan is expected to report to the U.N.’s Security Council on Assad’s response to his trip on Friday. On Wednesday, the Guardian newspaper posted a series of scathing emails showing that Assad sought advice from Iran on how to handle the uprising, that he made light of promised reforms and that his wife spent thousands on jewelry and furniture, even as the conflicts went on in Syria. The opposition to Assad, whom he accuses of being “terrorists” took another blow from the government’s forces on Wednesday, losing control of the town of Idlib.