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Syria in civil war, UN peacekeeping chief says

  • Syria's 15-month uprising has turned into a full-scale civil war as President Bashar al-Assad's forces attempt to recapture rebel territory, according to the United Nations’ peacekeeping chief.

    UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Herve Ladsous’s comments mark the first time a senior UN official has declared Syria's conflict as a civil war.

    Hundreds of people, including civilians, rebels and members of Assad's army and security forces, have been killed since a ceasefire deal was brokered by joint UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan two months ago.

    On Tuesday, angry crowds pelting stones and metal rods forced UN monitors overseeing Annan’s six-point peace plan to turn back from the town of Haffeh.

    As they left, three of their vehicles were fired on. None of the observers were hurt.

    At least 51 civilians were killed across Syria on Tuesday, according to the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.