(GENEVA) -- The United Nations says that more than 4,000 people have been killed in almost nine months of violence in Syria. The High Commissioner for human rights said that though they are placing the death toll at 4,000, they believe the actual number is much higher.
Commissioner Navi Pillay also characterized the uprising as a civil war, a term that has been much debated to describe what's happening in Syria. Pillay said that she's calling it a civil war because more and more army defectors are threatening to take up arms against President Assad's regime.
On Thursday, the U.S. and European Union tightened sanctions on the Syrian Real Estate Bank and the Military Housing Establishment as well as two close associates of President Assad, according to Voice of America. With these new additions to the list of individuals and entities blacklisted from the U.S. financial system, some officials familiar with the matter say the departure of the Syrian president is almost certain.
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