A Syrian rebel fighter
There has been renewed fighting in Syria ahead of a UN General Assembly vote condemning its own Security Council for failing to end the unrest.
The army has been shelling rebel positions in the largest city, Aleppo. There was also bloodshed in Hama and the capital, Damascus.
The aim of the UN resolution is to pressure the Security Council to act.
It follows the resignation of UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan and the failure of his six-point peace plan.
Correspondents say this is a clear recognition that the political process has failed.
Fighting is continuing in Aleppo, where government forces have been trying to reclaim areas seized by the Free Syrian Army (FSA) in the past two weeks.
On Friday, the FSA said it had taken 50% of the city. The claim could not be independently verified.
UN peacekeeping chief, Herve Ladsous told the Security Council that UN observers in Aleppo were seeing "a considerable build-up of military means, where we have reason to believe that the main battle is about to start".
Activists say 170 people died across the country on Thursday - including dozens in Hama, to the south of Aleppo.
At least 10 people were reported killed when mortars hit a Palestinian refugee camp at Yarmouk, on the southern edge of the capital, Damascus. Both sides blamed one another for the incident.
Activists say more than 20,000 people - mostly unarmed civilians - have died in 17 months of unrest.
Meanwhile three Russian warships are expected to dock in the Syrian port of Tartus in the coming days, according to Russia's Interfax news agency.
Each ship has 120 marines on board and armed personnel carriers. The BBC's Daniel Sandford in Moscow says it is not clear if this is a show of strength, or part of an evacuation plan for Russian nationals.
Russia and China have blocked attempts in the UN Security Council to impose sanctions against Damascus.
The proposed General Assembly resolution requires only a simple majority of the 193-member General Assembly to pass.
But, unlike a Security Council vote, it will not be legally binding.
Drafted by Saudi Arabia, which openly supports the armed rebellion against President Bashar al-Assad's rule, the text condemns the Syrian government's use of "heavy weapons" and its failure to withdraw forces from civilian areas, as demanded by Annan's peace initiative.
In an attempt to maximise votes, diplomats have toned down the wording of the text by dropping an explicit demand for President Assad to stand down, according to AFP.