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Syria Descending into Civil War: Red Cross Staff Say Homs Already There - UN Monitors Deploying
As shipments of equipment continue to arrive in Syria to aid UN inspectors in their monitoring mission, the unceasing violence has raised fears that the country is descending into all-out civil war. Speaking to reporters after briefing the UN Security Council on the situation, special envoy Kofi Annan urged the international community to prevent a full-scale conflict. Seventy UN monitors are currently deployed in Syria, a number which is set to increase to 300 over the next few weeks. While echoing Annan's concern, Arab League chief Nabil Elaraby said he worries that the deployment of peace monitors is moving too slowly. Members of the Red Cross have said that in the city of Homs as well as other regions, violence has become so intense that it qualifies as local civil war. Annan said he believes the observer group is the only remaining hope to bring stability to the war-torn country. UN special envoy to Syria Kofi Annan: "I am sure, I am not telling you any secret when I tell you that there is a profound concern that the country could otherwise descend into full civil war, and the implications of that are quite frightening. We cannot allow that to happen." Red Cross representative Beatrice Megevand-Roggo: "We still have a lot of humanitarian needs, a lot of people displaced, still many people wounded because there are bomb attacks, suicide bombings and clashes between armed groups."