About 50 fighters from the Free Syrian Army have entered Kobani, Syria, to provide reinforcements for the Kurdish fighters seeking to maintain control of the town. Separately, Nusra Front militants have seized several villages in Syria's Idlib province from more moderate rebels.
Syria's humanitarian crisis is straining aid agencies and its neighbors, who are hosting about 3 million refugees, says United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres. Separately, the World Food Programme is cutting its food shipments to Syria by 20% because of a lack of funding.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met with U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday to discuss Syria and North Korea. Ban thanked Obama for "his government's generous support on this humanitarian assistance" in Syria.
Group of Eight ministers are meeting this week in London to discuss Iran's nuclear program, the war in Syria and North Korea's nuclear threats, write Natalie Huet and Arshad Mohammed. The U.K. is particularly interested in finding a political solution for Syria.
A new draft resolution condemning Syria's crackdown on anti-government protesters was making the rounds among diplomats at the UN Security Council, apparently with strong Arab backing. Arab and Western governments hope the initiative will finally win over Russia, which today said it remained opposed to sanctions on the Syrian regime, which has forcefully rejected an Arab League effort to broker an end to the 10-month conflict.