I'm (occasionally) trying to read some news sources which I expect to disagree with my world views. Recently I wandered into the Russian view on the war in Syria for a change, and saw a interesting claim:
There are ten thousands of foreigners involved in the war in Syria, dominating at least two and more likely four warring factions* - should it be called a "civil war"? The obvious and largely overt meddling of foreign countries in support of some factions adds another heavy dose of foreign participation. It appears the Russian perspective doesn't favour calling it a "civil war", they appear to pretend that Assad still has support by the vast majority of Syrians and foreign influences drive the conflict.
I myself called this war a civil war so far, but the Russian view of Syria under attack by foreigners has a point: The war is at least partially not a war between domestic factions. Syria has indeed turned into a battlefield in which opposing factions (and ideologies) from three or four different continents are colliding in battle.
The Spanish Civil War with its conflict between the extreme right wing (roughly summed up as "fascists", domestic falangists with direct participation by National Socialist Germany and Fascist Italy) and the extreme left wing (roughly summed up as "socialists", domestic socialists with direct support by the Bolshevist/Stalinist Soviet Union) was a historical analogy.
I think it's both correct to call the war a "civil war" and to keep in mind it's in large part fuelled by conflicts between non-Syrians, even more so than the Bosnian War was. To not call it a "civil war" would indeed help to maintain awareness of the foreign influences, so I think that's fine as well.
Finally, because it's so detailed and thus kind of interesting: Wikipedia's current map of the war (click it to see the bigger version):
|(c) Wikipedia users NordNordWest, Spesh531 and others|
*: For certain: Da'esh and Hezbollah. Likely; Al-Nusra, Kurds. Not counting intervening foreign regular military forces..