UN Official: Syria in Civil War
Syria is now in a full-scale civil war, UN peacekeeping operations chief Herve Ladsous said as the Syrian government claimed it had retaken the rebel-held town of al-Haffa after eight days of heavy bombardment. When asked if he believed Syria was in a state of civil war Ladsous replied,”Yes, I think we can say that,” adding, “The government of Syria [has] lost some large chunks of territory [and] several cities to the opposition, and wants to retake control.” Syria’s Foreign Ministry contested the assessment and released a statement saying, “talking about a civil war in Syria runs counter to the reality and goes against the orientations of the Syrian people because what is happening in Syria is a war against armed groups that have chosen terrorism.”
Ali Ibrahim wrote on the international consensus regarding the imminent collapse of the Assad government, questioning why “there is no clear vision on how [regime change] can be achieved.” Meanwhile, Jackson Diehl explained why the Obama administration has been reluctant to act on Syria. Additionally, Hussein Shobokshi suggested that the recent Houla massacre was “a mass act of revenge against the residents of a town to which one of the cooks of the Syrian Presidential Palace belonged.” Shobokshi claims that the cook had been responsible for giving food poisoning to several prominent Syrian officials.