Despite a raging civil war, Syria has announced a presidential election on June 3, in what the US and EU are calling a ‘parody of democracy’.
On Sunday, dozens of people were killed in air strikes in the northern city of Aleppo, according to opposition activists.
And the US said it has indications that a toxic chemical, probably chlorine, was used in Syria this month. It is examining whether the government is responsible.
There seems little doubt that President Bashar al-Assad will seek re-election.
Constitutional changes mean multiple candidates can stand but under new residency rules his foes who have fled the country will not be able to take part.
UN chief Ban Ki-moon has warned the planned poll will undermine efforts to achieve a political solution to the Syrian conflict.
The three-year-old rebellion against Assad has killed more than 150,000 people, forced millions to flee their homes and caused the government to lose control over swathes of territory.