Syrian forces unleashed a barrage of mortars and artillery on the battered city of Homs for hours before dawn on Saturday, sending terrified residents fleeing into basements and killing more than 200 people in what appeared to be the bloodiest episode in the nearly 11-month-old uprising, activists said.
U.S. intelligence agencies threw cold water on the President Obama's thus-far-unsuccessful effort to "reset" relations with Russia by making concessions to Moscow.
In the largest protests Syria has seen in months, hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets Friday in a display of defiance to show an Arab League observer mission the strength of the opposition movement.
Syrian army defectors killed 27 government forces Thursday in apparently coordinated attacks that were among the deadliest by rebel troops since the uprising began nine months ago. The escalating unrest prompted Canada to advise thousands of its citizens in Syria to leave.
Gunmen believed to be army defectors opened fire on a military convoy in central Syria on Wednesday, killing eight soldiers in a retaliatory ambush after troops destroyed a civilian car, an activist group said.
Syrian security forces fired on a funeral procession in a restive northwestern border region, killing two people and raising Tuesday's death toll to at least 28, activists said.
Syrian troops battled army defectors Sunday in clashes that left several military vehicles in flames. The fighting and other violence around the nation killed at least five people, activists said.
The Arab League on Sunday overwhelmingly approved sanctions against Syria to pressure Damascus to end its deadly eight-month crackdown on dissent, an unprecedented move by the league against an Arab state.
Attacks by army defectors are transforming the Syrian uprising into an armed insurgency that threatens to spiral into civil war.