syria

Syria's former ambassador to Iraq, who defected last week, has begun talking to the press.

In an interview with CNN, Nawaf Fares said he supported military intervention in the country because the regime of President Bashar Assad "will only go by force."

CNN's Ivan Watson asked Fares if he wanted to send a message to Assad.

The violence in Syria is increasingly being called a civil war, and it can also be called a sectarian war, because much of the fighting pits the majority Sunni Muslims against the minority Alawites who make up much of the country's leadership.

Yet not everyone fits neatly into a category. There are some Alawites who have joined the uprising.

One 30-year-old Alawite man, who doesn't want his name revealed, is nervous as he lights another cigarette and tells the story of how he came to side with the opposition and turned his back on the Alawite rulers.

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Red Cross Declares Civil War In Syria

Jul 15, 2012

The conflict in Syria has now reached the level of civil war, the Red Cross announced Sunday.

The declaration means international humanitarian law now applies throughout the country, and is the responsibility of all parties, whether rebel or government.

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United Nations observers have entered the Syrian town of Tremseh to investigate an attack reported to be the bloodiest so far since the uprising against President Bashar Assad.

The details of the incident are unclear, as The Associated Press reports:

Can Newest Peace Plan For Syria Succeed?

Jul 9, 2012

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I'm Maria Hinojosa and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, the band, Brownout, is trying to bring Tejano Latin funk to the U.S. mainstream. We'll sit down with them and hear some music. That's just ahead.