GENEVA (Reuters) - Syria is now in a state of civil war with more than 4,000 dead and increasing numbers of defecting soldiers taking up arms against the government of President Bashar al-Assad, the top United Nations human rights official said on Thursday.
"We are placing the figure at 4,000, but really the reliable information coming to us is that it is much more than that," U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay told a news conference.
"I have said that as soon as there were more and more defectors threatening to take up arms, I said this in August before the Security Council, there was going to be a civil war. At the moment that's how I am characterizing this," she said.
(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay)