Syria's 'civil war' must be stopped: New UN envoy
PARIS (AFP) - The new UN peace envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, said Sunday it is no longer a question of "preventing civil war" in Syria but rather stopping it as the country is already in the throes of the "cruelest" conflict.
"A civil war, it is the cruelest kind of conflict, when a neighbour kills his neighbour and sometimes his brother, it is the worst of conflicts," said Mr Brahimi in an interview with France 24 television at his Paris apartment.
"There are a lot of people who say that we must avoid civil war in Syria, me I believe that we are already there for some time now. What's necessary is to stop the civil war and that is not going to be easy," said the Algerian diplomat.
Syria's popular uprising, which began in March 2011, has spiralled into an armed conflict with more than 21,000 deaths over the past 17 months, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The United Nations puts the death toll at 17,000.