The International Committee for the Red Cross has declared a civil war in Syria, putting the entire nation under humanitarian laws that could lead to war crime charges.
"We are now talking about a non-international armed conflict in the country," ICRC spokesman Hicham Hassan said.
Both sides are now held to the Rules of War which protect prisoners of war, forbid torture, and require the wounded to receive treatment.
The rules also dictate that anyone who commits attacks on civilians can be charged with war crimes. The move is an effort to help protect civilians and prosecute war crimes in the future.
More than 10,000 people have been killed since the fighting began some 16 months ago. Syrian President Bashar Assad continues to deny ordering attacks on rebels protesting his government.
Meanwhile, more fighting broke out in Damascus Monday, briefly closing the highway linking the capital with Damascus International Airport.
At least five people were also killed and dozens more wounded in separate attacks Sunday.