We can now finally say what's been clear for weeks: Kofi Annan's peace plan is dead.
On Monday, representatives of the Free Syrian Army, the main rebel group, told Reuters they ended their commitment to the ceasefire and would resume "defensive attacks" against government forces because President Bashar al-Assad failed to pull out his troops from the cities and stop the violence, as required by Annan's six point plan.
Read more on the six points of Annan's peace plan and why it failed.
This follows a belligerent speech by Assad on the weekend, in which he said Syria faced "real war" sponsored from abroad. No concessions, no let up in the fight against what the state media calls terrorist groups.
In a macabre end to a bad week, a new massacre of civilians has been reported in the Al-Qubayr village in the province of Hama, just two weeks after horrific events in Houla. Opposition activists accuse pro-government militias of slaughtering 86 people in revenge for their support for the uprising against Assad, says Al Jazeera, while the government blames unnamed terrorists for instigating the killings just a day before Annan's report at the UN Security Council.
Which side of the story to believe? UN chief Ban Ki-moon has reported that Syrian army prevented UN observers from entering the area. In any case, the slide into civil war is now back to fast-forward. We know that Russia will maintain its backing for Assad: but how involved will the West and Gulf Arab states get? Here's an overview of options for intervention in Syria.
Photo by Getty Images.