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On Monday, Syrian rebels battled regime forces in a heavily protected, upscale area of Damascus, activists said, in a sign that the country’s outgunned opposition is increasingly turning to insurgent tactics.

Russia said Tuesday it is ready to support a U.N. resolution endorsing former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s plan for settling the Syrian crisis, signaling it is prepared to raise the pressure on its old ally.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned that the resolution shouldn’t turn into an ultimatum to the Syrian government, setting the stage for tough bargaining over the wording of the document at the Security Council. But Mr. Lavrov’s statement appeared to indicate a shift in Moscow’s stance, showing signs of impatience with Mr. Assad.

Russia and China have twice shielded Assad’s regime from U.N. sanctions over its yearlong crackdown on protesters. But the Kremlin has also offered strong support to Annan, the former U.N. secretary-general who is now a joint U.N.-Arab League special envoy to Syria.