Iraq is slipping into a state of low-level civil war, Britain's former ambassador to the country said Sunday. Sir Jeremy Greenstock, who was London's senior representative in Baghdad until 2004, said the conflict is increasingly pitting the country's rival ethnic and religious groups against each other. The sectarian fighting, he added, bore a resemblance to ethnic cleansing in some parts of the country. "One could almost call it a low-level civil war already," Greenstock told British television channel ITV1's Jonathan Dimbleby program. He said that though he didn't believe a "classic civil war" would follow, he feared that local communities will look increasingly to militias for protection, ignoring central authorities in the process.