The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said Sunday that it considers Syria to be in a full-blown civil war, meaning that international humanitarian laws now apply throughout the country. The law gives parties to a conflict the right to use "appropriate force" to achieve their goals, and also gives them a reference point from which to determine how much and what type of force to use. The assessment could also create a basis for war crimes prosecutions, especially if civilians are attacked or detainees are abused or killed. Meanwhile, the Syrian government denied Sunday that it had used tanks and helicopters to attack the village of Tremseh in the Hama province on Thursday. Activists reported mass civilian killings in the town, but a government spokesman said two civilians were killed. U.N. observers are in Tremseh investigating the event.
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