Syria Deploys Helicopters as Clashes Rage North of Homs

US Fears 'Massacre' While Britain Talks Up War

Syria continues to approach a full-scale state of civil war tonight, as major fighting is reported in the northern towns of the Homs Province, and the Syrian military is said to have deployed helicopter gunships to fight rebels.

Fighting has been growing, particularly in Homs since last week, when the rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA) declared itself no longer bound by the UN brokered ceasefire and started launching attacks.

It seems now that the Syrian military is resigned to the ceasefire being over as well, and is engaging the rebels in battles. The biggest problem with this, however, is that both rebels and regime are fighting in and around populated areas, and leaving a large number of civilians trapped in the middle.

The US, which is openly backing the rebels, has slammed the Syrian military for its strikes today, saying it fears a “massacre” is being planned against civilians. Britain’s William Hague is pushing the idea of an international invasion of Syria, citing “al-Qaeda’s presence” in the nation.

Of course there have been a number of apparent al-Qaeda attacks in recent months. These have been universally conducted against the regime, however, and al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri even urged Muslims to unite against Assad. It makes no sense, then, to argue for an attack on Assad because of al-Qaeda’s presence.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.