Not only was August Syria's deadliest month yet, it was also the month that saw the highest number of refugees fleeing the country since the uprising began. Some 103,416 people "sought asylum in neighboring countries" last month, according to the UN, bringing the total number of registered asylum seekers to 235,300, the BBC reports. The true number is likely much higher: Jordan says it alone has taken in 183,000 people, with about 1,000 refugees arriving daily. Also:
- In a sign of the toll the uprising has taken on Assad's forces, thousands of former soldiers have been called up from the reserves since July, several military sources tell Reuters. "There is a shortage of men. A lot of fighters have been killed, and we have desertions," explains one officer. But many reservists aren't reporting for duty. As one puts it: "We have two choices: Stay and kill fellow Syrians, or desert, and be on the run from military courts."
- The situation in Aleppo is reportedly bad, with supplies dwindling and the Red Cross unable to get reinforcements to many parts of the city. But Red Cross chief Peter Maurer today met with Bashar al-Assad, and the AP reports that Assad told him the group is welcome to operate on the ground in the country as long as it remains "neutral and independent."