The battle for a key town in Syria has reached a new intensity and has an alarming new dimension.
The Syrian deputy foreign minister told ITV News they were using 'new tactics' to fight rebel soldiers trying to overcome the Assad regime.
An "innocent bystander" vented his anger on Syrian state television after a deadly bombing in Damascus, but all is not as it seems.
Russia has sent advanced anti-ship cruise missiles to Syria, The New York Times reports.
American officials told the US-based paper that the most recent shipment from Russia contains an advanced radar system that makes them more effective.
The weapons, called Yakhonts, could enable the Assad regime to counter any international attempts to impose a naval embargo, or establish a no-fly zone, according to experts.
Following media reports that Russia was shipping advanced missiles to the Assad regime in Syria, a top US military officer condemned the move as "unfortunate", saying it could embolden Assad's forces and prolong the conflict.
General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told Reuters:
It's at the very least an unfortunate decision that will embolden the regime and prolong the suffering, so it's ill-timed and very unfortunate.
Dempsey said he was referring specially to to anti-ship missiles - a more sophisticated weapon fitted with advanced radar that makes them more effective, according to officials quoted in The New York Times.
Web monitoring firms are reporting simultaneous plummeting of online activity in Syria, suggesting a country-wide internet blockage or blackout.
Dan Hubbard from security firm Umbrella Security Labs said it looked like the country's connection was severed. Writing online he said:
"At around 18:45 UTC OpenDNS resolvers saw a significant drop in traffic from Syria. On closer inspection it seems Syria has largely disappeared from the internet."
Syria is experiencing an internet blackout, according to a number of internet monitoring firms.
Google said internet services across the entire country were inaccessible and released data showing all web traffic from the country plummeting at the same time.
Monitoring companies reported a similar blackout last November which the Syrian government blamed on "terrorists."
Activists seeking to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad frequently use the internet to upload and share footage on social media and YouTube showing atrocities allegedly carried out by the regime.
Syrian government forces have used chemical weapons in their fight against rebels the Israeli military's top intelligence analyst has claimed.
Brigadier-General Itai Brun told a security conference photos of victims showing foam coming out of their mouths and contracted pupils were signs that nerve gas had been used.
"To the best of our understanding, there was use of lethal chemical weapons. Which chemical weapons? Probably Sarin," Brigadier-General Itai Brun said in remarks broadcast on Army Radio.
In a transcript of Brun's speech provided by the Israeli military, he said forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad were behind the attacks on "armed (rebels) on a number of occasions in the past few months".
The Syrian government and rebels last month accused each other of launching a chemical attack near the northern city of Aleppo.
The UN Security Council has ended two years of division on the issue of Syria to issue an agreed condemnation of human rights violations by Syrian government forces and rebels and demand an end to the civil war.
"The escalating violence is completely unacceptable and must end immediately," the council said in a non-binding statement, which it referred to as "Press Elements on Syria."
After a discussion on the worsening humanitarian situation in Syria, the 15-nation council also "condemned the widespread violations of human rights by the Syrian authorities, as well as any human rights abuses by armed groups."
Syria's President Bashar al-Assad has reportedly given an interview to a Turkish TV station in which he is highly critical of Turkey and Jordan.
The rare interview was recorded on April 2 and is due to be broadcast today, but this preview was uploaded to You Tube in advance:
According to the New York Times, President Assad accuses the Turkish Prime Minister of telling lies and describes the Arab League’s decision to give a seat to the Syrian opposition as "theatrics [that] have no value in our eyes".
The "Martyrs of Yarmouk" brigade accuses the United Nations of helping troops loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, according to a reporter for Radio Sawa.