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The United Nations officially concluded its observer mission in Syria Sunday (August 19th) as new Syria peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi addressed Syria's "civil war", AFP reported.
The departing 300-member observer team was created by a UN Security Council resolution adopted in April. It was deployed as part of special peace envoy Kofi Annan's six-point plan to achieve a ceasefire between opposition fighters and the regime.
In June, the observer mission's operations were halted due to the escalating violence, as both sides violated a ceasefire brokered by Annan.
The end of the UN mission came just days after Algerian diplomat Brahimi was named to replace Annan as the new envoy.
Prior to a scheduled meeting on Monday with French President Francois Hollande, Brahimi said peace efforts were now a matter of ending civil war rather than avoiding it.
"There are a lot of people who say we must avoid civil war in Syria," he told France 24 television. "I believe we are already there for some time now. What's necessary is to stop the civil war, and that is not going to be easy."
Syria rejected Brahimi's description of the conflict.
"To speak of civil war in Syria contradicts reality and is found only in the heads of conspirators," Syria's foreign ministry said in a statement.