There are no signs that either Syria or the anti-government rebels are ready to heed a ceasefire, which is being encouraged by Turkey.
The UN/Arab League peace mediator Lakhdar Brahimi has returned to Syria after a lightning tour of neighbouring countries, and says he wants to help ensure the ceasefire takes hold and lasts throughout the Eid religious holidays beginning next Friday.
Of special concern to Turkey and all those watching the conflict is the increased use by the Assad regime of air power, which is leading to heavy loss of civilian life.
“We are going to talk with our brothers here in Syria – with the government, with the political parties and with civilians – regarding the Syrian situation. We have talked about the importance of de-escalating the violence,” said Brahimi in Damascus.
Another growing problem has been the risk of a border incident, especially with Turkey, which has moved its army closer to the frontier after shells exploded on Turkish soil.
“On behalf of the government and the Turkish republic, We call for a ceasefire with all sides in Syria who clash against each other, especially through the four-day Eid al-Adha holiday, and hopefully a ceasefire that lasts longer,” said Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.
Turkey is particularly keen to put an end to the crisis as it is hosting tens of thousands of Syrian refugees, and wants to stop any conflict spilling over the border.