December 2nd, 2011
08:05 AM ET

U.N. rights chief warns of 'civil war' in Syria

Syria faces a "full-fledged civil war" if the regime's "continual ruthless repression" against peaceful demonstrators and civilians isn't stopped now, the top U.N. human rights official said Friday.

Speaking in Geneva, Switzerland, to a U.N. Rights Council's special session on Syria, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay noted with concern the reports of "increased armed attacks by the opposition forces, including the so-called Free Syrian Army, against the Syrian military and security apparatus."

"In light of the manifest failure of the Syrian authorities to protect their citizens, the international community needs to take urgent and effective measures to protect the Syrian people," Pillay said.

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