Syria now in 'civil war': UN Official
As with most everything else it deals with, the UN is just a little bit behind the reality curve. Having apparently given up on Kofi Annan's stillborn "peace plan," the UN is apparently ready to accept the fact that everyone else has been aware of for the last month; Syria is fighting a full blown civil war.
Asked whether he believed Syria was now in a civil war, Mr Ladsous told a small group of reporters: "Yes, I think we can say that.
"Clearly what is happening is that the government of Syria lost some large chunks of territory, several cities to the opposition, and wants to retake control."
The UN and the US have warned of an alarming escalation in violence in Haffa, amid reports of a build-up of government forces around the town.
UN monitors first tried to reach Haffa on Monday but were denied access.
On Tuesday, government forces gave them permission to pass through the last checkpoint before the town, but the monitors judged the situation to be "unsafe" and turned back, a UN spokeswoman said.
As they were leaving, an angry crowd threw stones and metal bars at the UN team before unknown assailants opened fire, the spokeswoman said.
None of the observers was hurt.
The BBC's Barbara Plett, at the UN in New York, says UN officials have been speaking this week not only about an intensification of government military operations, including firing from helicopters, but also about a dramatic increase in more sophisticated urban attacks by the opposition.
That's what has really changed over the last few months; the combat capability of the Free Syrian Army. Made up mostly of military defectors, it's taken the FSA leadership in Turkey a while to get organized, but now they appear to be getting control of the motely army and carrying out more and more sophisticated operations. Civilians are now as likely to be killed in crossfire between the two forces as gunned down by Assad's military.
But without heavy weapons, the rebels can only harass and annoy Assad's military. In order to achieve victory, they will need a massive infusion of cash so they can buy the weapons they need to overcome the Syrian army. That's not likely to happen anytime soon, as the west continues to look warily upon the FSA and extremist Sunnis who have apparently infiltrated its ranks.