Syria is not witnessing a "civil war" but rather a struggle to uproot the plague of terrorism, abduction and payment of ransoms, aggressions and explosions,” the Syrian Foreign Ministry said on Thursday in the wake of recent claims by UN officials.
The Foreign Ministry’s statement published by the state-run SANA news agency says that “any talk about a civil war in Syria doesn't reflect the reality.”
“Syria is not witnessing a ‘civil war’, but a struggle to uproot the plague of terrorism and encounter the killing, abduction and payment of ransoms, aggressions and explosions,” the statement reads.
The reaction from the Syrian government comes after the UN peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous said on Wednesday that Syria was now in a full-scale civil war. Ladsous became the first official from the international organization to describe the Syrian crisis as a “civil war.” The UN claims were followed by France’s new Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius, who said that “there are no words other than 'civil war,' to describe it [the situation in Syria].”
Meanwhile, world media reported on Thursday that 14 people were injured after an explosive-laden car went off near the Shiite shrine Sayyidah Zaynab in Damascus which houses the tomb of Prophet Mohammed's granddaughter.
A second blast occurred on Thursday in the northwestern province of Idlib, injuring six servicemen.
Earlier on Thursday, a leading human rights group, Amnesty International, released a 70-page report which accused Syria of a “shocking escalation” in unlawful killings, torture, and arbitrary detention and called for decisive international action to stop attacks on civilians by government forces and militias.
Amnesty International visited 23 towns and villages across Syria and concluded that Syrian government forces launched large scale attacks including during negotiations over the implementation of the UN-Arab League-sponsored six-point ceasefire agreement.
According to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, more than 12,000 people have been killed since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began in March 2011, most of them civilians.