The UN Security Council has condemned the Syrian government for using heavy weapons to attack the town of Houla, where more than a hundred people were killed.
The Independent's Patrick Cockburn, speaking from Damascus, says the government has "pretty tight control" on the capital, but that Syria remains a "mozaic".
"As you go to the North... it's a country convulsed by war and by fear of the army" he told the Today programme's John Humphrys.
Former British ambassador to the UN Sir Jeremy Greenstock told the programme that the UN Security Council has a "powerful statement" with Russia on board but he admits that the situation is "looking very gloomy at the moment".
The most likely scenario in Syria "is the increase of the use of arms on either side and descent into further violence" he said.
He believes Kofi Annan "doesn't have the instruments to stop what is going on" and "can't stop either the regime or the opposition from being armed".
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