U.N. Calls Syria Conflict ‘Civil War,’ Russia Supplies Attack Helicopters

U.N. top official Herve Ladsous has confirmed that the Syrian conflict has escalated into an all-out civil war. If confirmed by the Red Cross, the escalation could have huge legal ramifications for both sides, subjecting them to cooperation under the Geneva Convention laws.

Newser notes that Ladsous’ statement carries no legal weight, but that it could have political ramifications. The BBC notes that Ladsous responded to reports questioning the civil war status by saying, “Yes, I think we can say that.” He further stated:

“Clearly what is happening is that the government of Syria lost some large chunks of territory, several cities to the opposition, and wants to retake control.”

Ladsous, who is the under-secretary for peacekeeping operations at the U.N. stated that an attack on the UN team near the city of Haffa was deliberate, an area where the U.S. and its allies believe may be the site of another massacre in the future.

The U.N. team was originally denied access to the area on Monday, but government forces allowed them in on Tuesday. The monitors decided that the situation was “unsafe” and turned back, but on their way out, their group came under fire. No one was hurt, according to the BBC.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also announced on Tuesday that Russia is sending a shipment of attack helicopters to Syria. She stated, according to the National Post, that:

“We are concerned about the latest information we have that there are attack helicopters on the way from Russia to Syria, which will escalate the conflict quite dramatically.”

Clinton also stated that:

“They have from time to time said that we shouldn’t worry, that everything they’re shipping is unrelated to their actions internally. That’s patently untrue.”

Do you think that the conflict in Syria is now an all-out civil war? And what about Russia supplying attack helicopters to the Assad regime?