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Monday
Feb182013

Damascus Holds Its Breath as Syrian Civil War Reaches Its Door

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(DAMASCUS, Syria) -- The chaos engulfing Syria threatens to spill over into Iraq on one side, and Israel and Lebanon on the other.

The United Nations now estimates that 70,000 people have been killed in the fighting — but no one really knows.

A U.N. commission on Monday called for war-crimes investigations of both sides: Assad’s government, which has sought to crush the rebellion by any means necessary; as well as the rebels, many of whom are increasingly seen by ordinary Syrians as warlords, gangsters and religious fanatics who regularly post videos of beheadings and other atrocities on YouTube.

Syria’s many minorities live in terror of a jihadist takeover of their country.

Many Christian refugees from Syria have fled to Beirut.

“We lived freely as Christians,” said one man. “But now we are being targeted.”

Ordinary Syrians increasingly just want the war to stop and now dread the chaos that has been unleashed.

Assad himself seems to know this. The man that the U.S. government has said must go told a group of visitors on Monday: “We are sure we will win.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio