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The International Committee of the Red Cross said Sunday it now considers the conflict in Syria to be a full-blown civil war, meaning international humanitarian law applies throughout the country.
Syrian troops on Friday shelled a rebel-held neighborhood in the flashpoint central city of Homs as President Bashar Assad's troops appeared to be readying to storm the area that has been out of government control for months, activists said.
The U.N. humanitarian chief got the first look inside the shattered district of Baba Amr on Wednesday but found most people already had fled the rebellious neighborhood in Homs following a devastating military siege.
The Red Cross says it has failed to gain access to a besieged neighborhood in the Syrian city of Homs.
ICRC spokesman Hicham Hassan said Sunday that humanitarian law now applies wherever hostilities are taking place in Syria, where fighting has spread beyond the hotspots of Idlib, Homs and Hama.
Previously, the ICRC had restricted its assessment of the scope of the conflict to the hotspots of Idlib, Homs and Hama, but Mr. Hassan said the organization had determined the violence has spread beyond those areas.