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UN warns that Syria is on the cusp of civil war

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UN warns that Syria is on the cusp of civil war


Scenes of the Syrian government’s crackdown on the restive city of Homs have been filmed by a foreign TV crew on a secret mission.

The French news footage is rare, as Syria has barred most independent media.

At least 4,000 people have now died in this year’s unrest, according to the UN’s top human rights official. Navi Pillay is also warning that Syria is on the cusp of civil war, as rebel soldiers and others take up arms against President Assad’s government.

“I have said that as soon as there were more and more defectors threatening to take up arms, I said this in August before the Security Council, that there is going to be a civil war and at the moment that is how I am characterising this,” said Pillay, the UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights

Most footage from the front line of the uprising is provided by amateur cameramen and posted on the Internet.

“We take risks every day but it is our job to send images of the revolution,” said one of those behind the lens, who asked to remain anonymous. “We are under fire. One of my colleagues has just been killed.”

The anti-government protests are still going strong despite a crackdown that has seen Syrian forces commit executions, torture and rape, according to an independent UN commission of inquiry.

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