Syria's army rained shells on rebel bastions in and around Damascus Tuesday and sent extra troops to second city Aleppo, as a watchdog said the death toll from 18 months of violence now topped 31,000.
Latin American and Arab leaders agreed to form a joint investment bank during a summit in Peru at which they also discussed the increasingly bloody civil war in Syria.
Shelling and air raids killed dozens of Syrian civilians, including children, on Monday, a watchdog said, while rebels and loyalists fought close-quarter battles in Aleppo's main souk.
Iran on Monday added its voice to warnings against Syria ever using chemical weapons in its increasingly large-scale war with anti-government insurgents.
"I wish I could live at the Zaatari Syrian refugee camp because there is water there," a Jordanian man says, frustrated that he has not had any tap water of his own in months.
Syrian grassroots activists working to run field hospitals and repair fuel lines will Friday urge world leaders to do more to help a stricken people caught up in the battle to oust the Assad regime.
Two bombs struck the Syrian army headquarters in the heart of Damascus Wednesday, as Hillary Clinton appealed for the "paralyzed" UN Security Council to find a way to end the conflict.
The emir of Qatar has called for an Arab intervention in Syria and a no-fly zone to protect refugees as President Bashar al-Assad's forces stepped up the battle for Aleppo.
Western and Arab leaders ramped up the pressure on Syria and Iran at the United Nations on Tuesday, as US President Barack Obama vowed to keep Tehran from getting its hands on nuclear weapons.
US President Barack Obama will lead Western demands for action on the Syrian civil war at the start of the UN General Assembly on Tuesday.
Peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi said Monday there is no end in sight for Syria's war as President Bashar al-Assad clings to power, while his forces reportedly pounded rebels, killing at least seven children.
Regime aircraft hammered insurgent bastions nationwide on Sunday as rebels said they now control most of the country and have moved their command centre from Turkey to "liberated areas" inside Syria.
Global giants the European Union and China meet at a Brussels summit on Thursday under pressure to bolster slowing economic growth and tackle tough international dilemmas.
The Syrian regime plans to deploy chemical weapons against its own people "as a last resort", the former head of Syria's chemical arsenal told The Times newspaper in an interview published Wednesday.
Every time violence intensifies in Syria, so do abductions of civilians, for political reasons and more often for financial gain.
The Syrian army has tested a chemical weapons delivery system, firing shells at a research centre in its northwestern desert region, the German magazine Der Spiegel reported Monday citing "witnesses".
UN officials have denounced gross human rights violations by both sides in Syria, as fighting rages in the second city Aleppo with the army claiming to have secured much of a strategic district.
Fighting raged in Syria's two biggest cities on Sunday as UN-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi ended his first visit to the country on a peace mission a rebel commander said was doomed to fail.
Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie on Sunday called for Syria's neighbours to keep their borders open to refugees, during a visit to a refugee camp in Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region.
Pope Benedict XVI arrives on Friday for a three-day visit to Lebanon, a Middle Eastern country riven by sectarian tensions as fighting rages next door in Syria.
- Middle East & Africa
- Arab countries
- human rights
- United States
- World leaders
- Bashar al-Assad
- United Nations
- Barack Obama
- Arab League
- European Union
- Asia Pacific
- Angelina Jolie
- Pope Benedict XVI