Violence in Syria spreads as army splits

Middle East analysts fear civil war

Largely peaceful protests in Syria have turned increasingly violent as army defectors fight back against government troops in what some analysts worry could be the beginnings of a sectarian civil war. Forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad on Tuesday tried to take back a central town from opposition troops. Details of the attack remain scant. Few experts rate the opposition’s chances of Libya-style revolt very highly. Many, however, worry that sectarian violence could spread, possibly even beyond Syria’s borders.


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