Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has rejected peace talks with his enemies in a defiant speech that his opponents described as a renewed declaration of war.
About 1 million Syrians are going hungry due to the difficulty of getting supplies into conflict zones and the fact that the few government-approved aid agencies are stretched to the limit, the United Nations says.
Syrians believe 40 years of Assad family rule is too long, the international mediator for Syria said, the closest he has come to calling directly for President Bashar al-Assad to quit.
A new year has sadly brought no hope for any end to the blood-letting in Syria. The death toll in the embattled country now exceeds 60,000, according to the United Nations, and hundreds are often killed in a single day.
The increasingly bloody conflict in Syria will probably continue for a while yet, but the regime's brutality means that in the end it will not be able to cling on to power, University of Otago Middle East expert William Harris says.
International mediator Lakhdar Brahimi and envoys from Russia and the United States - backers of opposing sides in Syria's civil war - have failed to make a breakthrough in talks seeking a political solution to the conflict.
The head of NATO says he thinks the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is nearing collapse, and has condemned the use by Assad's forces of Scud missiles to attack rebels.
Syrian fighter jets have bombed the Palestinian Yarmouk camp in Damascus, killing at least 25 people sheltering in a mosque in an area where Syrian rebels have been trying to advance into the capital, opposition activists say.
More than 60,000 people have died in Syria's uprising and civil war, the United Nations says, dramatically raising the death toll in a struggle that shows no sign of ending.
Syria is "genuinely worried" that some countries might equip extremist groups with chemical weapons and then claim they were used by the Syrian government, the country's UN envoy said in a letter to UN chief Ban Ki-moon and the Security Council.
Around 9000 Syrian refugees have fled to Turkey in the past 24 hours, the UN refugee agency says, one of the largest single day influxes, while Turkish state media said 26 defecting Syrian army officers had also arrived.
The United Nations says it is suspending its aid operations in Syria and withdrawing all non-essential international staff due to the worsening security situation.
Rebels fighting to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad declared Damascus International Airport a battle zone, while Moscow and Washington both sounded downbeat about the prospects of a diplomatic push to end the conflict.
Western powers are whipping up fear of chemical weapons as a pretext to intervene in Syria, President Bashar al-Assad's government said, after several Western countries said they feared Assad might use poison gas.
Washington fears a "desperate" Syrian President Bashar al-Assad could use chemical weapons as rebels bear down on Damascus, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says, repeating a vow to take swift action if he does.
Syrian army forces have pounded rebel-held suburbs around Damascus with fighter jets and rockets, activists say, killing and wounding dozens in an offensive to push rebels away from the airport and stop them closing in on the capital.
Syrian opposition leaders have struck a hard-won deal under intense international pressure to form a broad, new coalition to prepare for the fall of President Bashar al-Assad.
At least 54 people were killed when a jet fighter blew up a petrol station amid heavy fighting between government and rebel forces in northern Syria, a British-based monitoring group said.
Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully says the United Nation risks losing its credibility because of its inability to act over Syria.
Three suicide car bombs and a mortar barrage have ripped through a government-controlled district of central Aleppo housing a military officers' club, killing 48 people according to activists.