An unprecedented bombing in Damascus targeting the core of the Syrian regime has killed the country's defense minister, the president's brother-in-law, and other elite officials.
International envoy Kofi Annan called on the United Nations Security Council to delay Wednesday's scheduled vote on a new resolution on Syria in a last-minute effort to get Russia and Western nations to agree on the wording.
The vote is now scheduled for Thursday, according to the Associated Press.
Reuters reported the resolution would extend a UN observer mission in Syria for 45 days and put Annan's peace plan under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter.
The delay comes in the wake of a bombing in Damascus that killed at least three members of the Syrian defense leadership.
Chapter 7 enables the 15-member Security Council to authorize diplomatic and economic sanctions, and even military intervention. But US officials clarified the resolution would focus on sanctions on Syria, not military intervention.
Russia remains the key stumbling block to passing the vote.
Moscow has said it would block the Western-backed resolution because it does not believe it should be placed under Chapter 7. Russia and China have already twice vetoed UN Security Council resolutions aimed at ending the violence in Syria.
The Council has until Friday to make a decision about the UN's observer mission in Syria.
From Boise Weekly's examination of why the Syrian crisis should matter to Idahoans to the latest reports from the carnage that is Damascus, here's a roundup of news from the New York Times, TIME, The Washington Post and the BBC.