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Top UN official says Syria now in a civil war

Cites death toll and defections; US disagrees with the label

By Elizabeth A. Kennedy and Frank Jordans
Associated Press / December 2, 2011
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Syria has entered a state of civil war with more than 4,000 people dead and an increasing number of soldiers defecting from the army to fight President Bashar Assad’s regime, the U.N.’s top human rights official said yesterday. Civil war has been the worst-case scenario in Syria since the revolt against Assad began eight months ago. Damascus has a web of allegiances that extends to Lebanon’s powerful Hezbollah movement and Iran’s Shiite theocracy, raising fears of a regional conflagration.

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