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UN peacekeeping chief: Syria now in civil war

Tuesday - 6/12/2012, 5:38pm  ET

UNITED NATIONS (AP) - The U.N.'s peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous says the violence in Syria has escalated into civil war.

Ladsous, asked in an interview whether Syria was in a civil war, told Reuters and AFP on Tuesday, "Yes, I think one can say that," his spokesman confirmed.

Kieran Dwyer, spokesman for the U.N. peacekeeping department, says U.N. observers have seen a steep escalation of violence and a dangerous shift in tactics by both sides in Syria in the last five days.

The Syrian government seems intent on wresting back control of many rebel-held areas and is shelling heavily populated districts and using attack helicopters over cities "with devastating impact on civilians," Dwyer said.

In turn, the opposition is increasingly coordinating attacks against government forces and civilian infrastructure, and "the conflict has reached all parts of Syria virtually," Dwyer said.


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)