US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has said time is running out on Syrian peace hopes and warned that the Syrian state could collapse.
Speaking in Japan, Mrs Clinton said that UN mediator Kofi Annan's acknowledgement that his peace plan is failing "should be a wake-up call for everyone".
She said last month was the deadliest for the Syrian people in the 16-month revolt against president Bashar Assad and added that the opposition "is getting more effective in defence of themselves and going on the offensive against the Syrian military".
Mrs Clinton says Assad's regime must acknowledge that its days are numbered.
She said there is "still a chance to save the Syrian state from a catastrophic assault that would be very dangerous not only to Syria, but to the region".