A generally accepted definition of civil war is a fight for control of a nation, involving the state, one or more non-state actors, and at least 1,000 battlefield casualties. Sounds like Syria.
The massacre in Houla, Syria, over the weekend pushed Russia to finally denounce the atrocities there. But Moscow also warned that the regime of Bashar al-Assad faces threats from Al Qaeda. Al Qaeda's future in Syria depends on how Sunnis there respond to foreign jihadi fighters.
Kofi Annan's visit follows a massacre in Houla, Syria, that left 108 dead, most of them 'summarily executed,' according to the United Nations.
At least 200 have died in Syria in the two months since a UN-backed cease-fire went into effect, but Ban Ki-moon rejects assertions that part of the problem is the low number of monitors on the ground.
United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon called on all parties in Syria to stand by the cease-fire, which has been repeatedly violated by both the government and the opposition.