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UN Envoy warns of mass death next year in Syria

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Since starting his job in September, Brahimi has sought to advance an international plan, reached in Geneva six months ago, that calls for an open-ended cease-fire between rebels and government troops and the formation of a transitional government to run the country until elections can be held.

Over the past week Brahimi went to Damascus where he met Assad then flew to Moscow, one of Syria's closest international allies, where he discussed ways of ending the country's crisis.

"The situation in Syria is bad. Very, very bad," Brahimi said after meeting Arab League chief Nabil Elaraby. "It is getting worse and therefore if nearly 50,000 were killed in nearly two years if, God forbids, this crisis continues for another year, it will not only kill 25,000. It will kill 100,000. The situation is deteriorating."

The monthly death toll in Syria rose over the past months, as both sides have used heavier weapons and as the Syrian army started using its warplanes to attack rebel-held areas around the country.

Brahimi said that peace and security in the world will be threatened directly from Syria if there is no solution within the next few months. "I warn of what will come. The choice is between a political solution or of full collapse of the Syrian state."

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