UN monitors seeking to reach the site of a new reported massacre of Syrian villagers by forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad were shot at with small arms, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says.
Activists say pro-government militia men and security forces have killed at least 78 people, including children, in Syria's central province of Hama.
Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean, who last month visited a Syrian refugee camp in Jordan, yesterday revealed 250 "desperate" people were fleeing the increasingly brutal civil war in Syria every night - and that was at just one point on the 375km border between Syria and Jordan.
Syrian rebels are no longer committed to a UN-backed peace plan that has failed to end the violence and have launched attacks on government forces to "defend our people", a spokesman says.
A Russian cargo ship that Western officials say was heavily laden with weapons for the government of Syria docked at the Syrian port of Tartus last weekend, a rights group says.
UN observers say 13 bodies have been discovered bound and shot in eastern Syria, days after a massacre of 108 civilians, nearly half of them children, ignited a world outcry.
The credibility of the United Nations is "in tatters" because of the continuing slaughter of civilians in Syria, University of Otago Prof William Harris says.
Peace envoy Kofi Annan denounced the killing of at least 108 people in the Syrian town of Houla as "an appalling crime" on Monday and urged President Bashar al-Assad to prove he wants a peaceful resolution to the crisis racking his country.
The UN Security Council has unanimously condemned the killing of at least 108 people, including many children, in the Syrian town of Houla, a sign of mounting outrage at the massacre that the government and rebels blamed on each other.
A Russian cargo ship loaded with weapons is en route to Syria and due to arrive at a Syrian port this weekend, Al Arabiya television said in a report that Western diplomats in New York described as credible.
A car bomb has blown up at a Syrian military post in the eastern city of Deir al-Zor, killing nine people, an attack that Syria said was the latest proof that an uprising against President Bashar al-Assad is a foreign plot.
Countries that "sow chaos" in Syria could find the tables turned, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has told a state-run Russian television station.
Fighting in Syria has killed at least 32 people, activists said, and Saudi Arabia said stubborn violence was shredding the credibility of a U.N.-Arab League peace plan stipulating a truce and dialogue between President Bashar al-Assad and his foes.
Syrian troops backed by tanks shot dead seven civilians when they overran a rebellious Sunni Muslim village west of the city of Hama on Sunday, activists' organisations said, in a crackdown on the rural epicentre of the 14-month anti-government revolt.
Two suicide car bombers have killed 55 people and wounded more than 370 in Damascus, state media said, the deadliest attacks in the Syrian capital since an uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began 14 months ago.
France wants to see 300 U.N. observers in Syria within two weeks and will push for a "Chapter 7" resolution at the United Nations unless Damascus complies with the terms of a peace plan by early May, Foreign Minister Alain Juppe says.
UN-Arab League mediator Kofi Annan's deputy has told the Security Council that the swift deployment of more observers to Syria was needed despite continued risks and persistent violence, council diplomats told Reuters.
Gunfire erupted close to an advance team of UN observers who had been swarmed by protesters, giving a taste of the challenge facing a mission to monitor a shaky week-old truce that has so far failed to stop Syria's violence.
Syria's ceasefire increasingly was under threat on Sunday as the government vowed a crackdown on a wave of "terrorist attacks" and its forces shelled Homs on the day the first U.N. peace monitors were due to enter the country.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said an advance team of ceasefire monitors would be sent to Syria soon and that he would make proposals by next Wednesday regarding the full observer mission.