Red Cross says Syria in civil war
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) says fighting in Syria is so widespread that the conflict is now in effect a civil war.
The change in status means combatants will now be officially subject to the Geneva Conventions, leaving them more exposed to war crimes prosecutions.
The Red Cross had previously regarded only the areas around Idlib, Homs and Hama as war zones.
Meanwhile, the Syrian government is disputing claims it used heavy weapons.
Activists initially described fighting on Thursday in the village of Tremseh near Hama as a massacre of dozens of civilians, but later accounts suggested most of the dead were armed rebels.
The UN accused Syrian forces of using heavy artillery, tanks and helicopters, but Damascus denied those allegations and said just two civilians had been killed.
The accusations, if proved, would mean Damascus had broken an agreement it made with envoy Kofi Annan.
Later on Sunday, video footage emerged purporting to show heavy fighting in southern Damascus.
Activists claimed the fighting was the most intense seen in the capital since the start of anti-government protests in March last year.
They said tanks and mortars were used, and in some areas residents were fleeing.
There has been no independent confirmation of their claims.
“change in status means combatants will now be officially subject to the Geneva Conventions”
i knew there was something to a status being a “civil war”..and thats why..all part of the squeeze..