UNITED NATIONS, June 12 (Xinhua) -- UN Undersecretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Herve Ladsous said here Tuesday that the current events in Syria could be characterized as a civil war.
"Yes, I think one can say that," Ladsous said in response to a question whether the violence in Syria can be called a civil war. "And clearly what is happening is that the government of Syria lost some large chunks of territories and several cities to the opposition and wants to retake control of these areas."
Ladsous noted that there have been attack helicopters in addition to tanks and artillery at work in the Middle Eastern country, which has been plagued by a 16-month crisis.
"On Syria, I think there is massive increase of the level of violence," he said.
The crisis in Syria began in March 2011 when people to the streets to protest the rule of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The UN has since deployed an observer mission in the country and appointed Kofi Annan as the UN and Arab League joint special envoy to Syria in order to seek a peaceful resolution.