UN envoy Brahimi implied President Assad might not have a role in a future government, while Russia says only Syrians can make that call. Meanwhile, rebels said they took control of a key military base.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad made a rare public speech yesterday that, outside the regime, is seen as offering nothing more than many more months of violence.
President Bashar al-Assad's first speech in months dashed any hopes that a negotiated settlement to the Syrian civil war was soon possible.
Many believed 2012 would be Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's last year in power, but at the outset of 2013 the conflict appears locked in a stalemate with alarming fatality rates.
The popular unrest of the last two years has left the Middle East volatile as 2013 kicks off.
The United Nations' envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi argued against hopes that the country could find stability by devolving into a set of smaller states.
Policymakers in many of the world's hot spots have a common New Year's wish: for unity to usher in and consolidate political and economic stability.
The plan from UN special envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, is unlikely to gain traction without more concessions to the Syrian opposition.
NATO condemned Syria for firing Scud-type missiles yesterday, which Syria denies doing. The UN says the violence could result in as many as 1 million refugees over the next six months.
Palestinians are returning to their refugee camp after fighting sent them fleeing, but the number fleeing Syria or facing internal displacement continues to rise.
NBC Chief Foreign Correspondent Richard Engel and two other reporters are free today after five days of captivity in Syria.
The Syrian conflict is making 2012 the deadliest year on record for journalists.