France: Syria is in a civil war

The French Foreign Minister has said Syria is in a state of civil war. His Russian counterpart has accused the US of supplying arms to Syrian rebels, after Hillary Clinton said Russia had been arming the Assad regime.

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French minister attacks Syrian 'regime of death and blood'

"We have been informed that children are being used as human shields by the regime, placed in front of tanks, tortured, raped and assassinated.

"Every day dozens and dozens of Syrians are dying at the hands of Bashar al-Assad's regime.

"We have therefore decided to strengthen our efforts to stop this regime of death and blood."

– Laurent Fabius, French Foreign Minister

France says Syria is in a 'civil war'

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has said Syria is in a state of civil war.

Fabius told reporters at a Paris news conference that "if you can't call it a civil war, then there are no words to describe it".

He said Syria's president Bashar Assad should cede power to the opposition.

The minister's comments echo those made by the UN's head of peacekeeping Herve Ladsous yesterday.

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29,500 Syrian refugees in Turkey

According to the Turkish Foreign Ministry:

  • Latest wave brings the total number of Syrian refugees in Turkey to about 29,500
  • Highest number taking shelter in Turkey at one time since the start of the uprising 15 months ago
  • Among the 2,000 new refugees 43 were injured
  • Turkey has given shelter to more than 50,000 Syrians since March 2011 but thousands have since returned to their homes in Syria
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