The Syrian uprising, is an ongoing, violent internal conflict in Syria. It began on 15 March 2011 with public demonstrations as part of the wider Arab Spring and developed into a nationwide uprising. Protesters demanded the end to nearly five decades of Ba’ath Party rule, which was then and currently headed by President Bashar al-Assad.
The border area has become increasingly volatile in recent weeks, and fears are now growing that Lebanon could be sucked into the 16-month Syrian conflict.
There have recently been clashes between armed men on the Lebanese side and the Syrian military.
There are fears the Syrian conflict will spread to neighbouring countries.
The opposition has no jets but relies instead on classic guerrilla tactics -- fighters strike then melt away into the countryside. They are becoming increasingly better equipped thanks to weapons and money supplied by Arab countries hostile to Assad.
Estimated to number about 40,000, the insurgents have fought the 200,000-strong Syrian military with its tanks, artillery and helicopter gunships to a standstill.
The regime controls the major cities running from the capital of Damascus to the Turkish border while rebels control large parts of the countryside.
In Syria on Thursday, the International Red Cross tried to evacuate civilians and the wounded from the battered city of Homs, but they never got the chance. A promised cease-fire never happened.
The city came under renewed shelling that residents blamed on the Syrian army. The Red Cross convoy had to turn back to Damascus.
Homs is at the center of the 16-month uprising against the dictator, Bashar al-Assad. He's out to crush it, and thousands have died.
Reports surfaced Thursday that a small number of CIA officers have been deployed to southern Turkey to assist U.S. allies with the tough task of deciding which Syrian rebel elements should receive weapons in their fight against Syrian President Bashir al-Assad's loyalist military.
Russian state-owned firms are supplying regime with weapons. The CIA is reportedly helping vet recipients of foreign-provided arms for opposition forces. But this isn't the Cold War. It's present day Syria.
Syria's foreign ministry responded to the remarks on Wednesday, saying that they represented an unrealistic description of the conflict.
The head of the United Nations' peacekeeping operations has said that the situation in Syria now amounts to a full-scale civil war as witnesses on the ground described fresh shelling on Homs and heavy fighting in other cities.
"Yes, I think we can say that," Herve Ladsous, the head of the UN's Department of Peacekeeping Operations, said in New York on Tuesday, when asked whether he believed Syria was now in a state of civil war.