World news explained

Civil war in Syria?

Audio 05:17
A damaged vehicle and buildings are seen in Karm Chmchm near Homs, 12 July  2012
A damaged vehicle and buildings are seen in Karm Chmchm near Homs, 12 July 2012 Reuters/Shaam News Network/Handout

The International Committee of the Red Cross has officially changed the designation of the conflict in Syria to a “non-international armed conflict”. The group had previously described the conflict as one between government forces and opposition groups in the flashpoint areas of Homs, Hama and Idlib only. While the organization does not use the term civil war, it is using one from the Geneva Convention that describes a civil war. RFI talks to a legal expert about the implications of changing the designation of the conflict.