Syria Live Blog
Law professor says assessment that Syria is in a civil war could have implications for future war crimes prosecutions.
Josh Lockman, an international law professor at the University of Southern California, spoke to Al Jazeera about the assessment by the Red Cross that the conflict in Syria is now to be considered a civil war.
He said the assessment doesn't make any significant difference on the ground, but is "of tremendous significance for the long term" with regards to future international criminal prosecutions against the Assad regime.
"With this application of international humanitarian law to the conflict, key regime officials could be held responsible for both massacres against civilians and also for the treatment of captured combatants, in this case rebel fighters, to the degree they're abused, harmed or killed. This regime could be responsible for crimes against humanity and held at the International Criminal Court or at another international tribunal in the future.
"But the practical significance is of minimal importance compared to the political brinkmanship that's taking place right now between on the one hand, the West, and key regional actors, such as Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, and on Assad's side essentially Russia and Iran."