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Wed Oct 22 17:26:22 SAST 2014

Arab League warns of slide to Syria civil war

REUTERS | 06 February, 2012 14:52
Residents attend a burial ceremony for what activists say are
Residents attend a burial ceremony for what activists say are victims of shelling by the Syrian army, in the Khalidiya neighbourhood in Homs February 4, 2012. Syrian forces killed more than 200 people in an assault on the city of Homs, activists said, the bloodiest day of an 11-month uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, ahead of a Saturday vote on a U.N. resolution calling for him to cede power. REUTERS/Handout (SYRIA - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST) FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS
Image by: HANDOUT / REUTERS

 The head of the Arab League said on Monday the Syrian army's use of heavy weapons against civilians was an escalation that edged the country towards civil war.

"We follow with great anxiety and irritation developments in the field situation in Syria, and the escalation of military operations in the city of Homs and rural areas of Damascus, and the Syrian armed forces' use of heavy weapons against civilians," Arab League chief Nabil Elaraby said in a statement.

In the statement published by the Egyptian state news agency, Elaraby said the escalation took the crisis in Syria in "a serious direction", adding that it pushed "conditions towards a slide towards civil war".

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