The arrival of Kofi Annan in Damascus appears to have changed nothing, as President Bashar al-Assad’s troops continued fighting on Saturday.
Following days of bombardment, they stormed the rebel city of Idlib. More than 60 people were reported to have been killed.
An escalation of violence shows the regime’s determination to crush the uprising.
The Syrian president has repeated that there will be no political solution to the crisis before the elimination of those he calls “terrorists.”
For his first head to head with Assad, Annan focussed talks on the crackdown. He has put forward proposals to stop the violence, let in humanitarian aid and initiate dialogue, although for the moment no details have been given.
Annan, the envoy of the UN and Arab League, also met opposition leaders. They reject any dialogue with the Syrian president.