ISTANBUL - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned on Thursday that massacres of civilians, such as the one perpetrated in Houla last weekend, could plunge Syria into a devastating civil war.
Ban cited fears raised on Tuesday by Kofi Annan, the joint special envoy for the Arab League and United Nations, that Syria may have already reached a "tipping point" following the slaughter of 108 people in Houla last Friday. The April 12 ceasefire, that forms part of Annan's 6-point plan to restore peace, has so far failed to take hold.
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"The massacre of civilians of the sort seen last weekend could plunge Syria into catastrophic civil war - a civil war from which the country would never recover," the UN secretary-general told a conference in Istanbul.