Syria "is increasingly turning into a regional, if not a global, battleground", the UN's top Middle East envoy has warned.
Robert Serry, the UN special co-ordinator for the Middle East peace process, told the Security Council that the Syrian government "continues to use its military might against civilian areas, which is increasingly attracting foreign fighters".
Mr Serry cited a surge in sectarian threats and violence in Syria and the region.
He also accused the government and opposition of failing to protect civilians and warned that the humanitarian needs of millions of Syrians are outpacing UN efforts to increase the delivery of aid.
He added: "Recent reports of military victories by the government should not create false confidence that the conflict can be won militarily."