Another day, more death
In all, at least 237 people were killed Tuesday, according to the opposition LCC.
In Damascus, the capital and seat of al-Assad's power, the Syrian air force continued an intense assault, rebels said.
Rebels said a government jet fighter shelled the eastern Ghouta neighborhood in Damascus, an attack that was captured on video and posted on the Web.
Brahimi called 'an aging tourist'
Efforts by Lakhdar Brahimi to broker a peace were met with derision by a state-run newspaper, which described the 78-year-old U.N. and Arab League joint special envoy as "an aging tourist."
"Brahimi's hands show zero accomplishments after almost a year since he took over," an al-Tawra editorial said. "Worse than that is that we now believe that his hands may have been stained in attempts to undermine the political settlements to end the Syrian crisis."
Brahimi's "assessment of the political situation in Syria" is "short-sighted," the piece said. He is a "tool to some international parties just like the United Nations and its agencies.
"Brahimi is coming back and, in his briefcase, there are requests and ideas that are not his."
Another newspaper in Syria -- also state-run -- said Tuesday that Brahimi "lives off the breadcrumbs of the Qatari royal court."
At the same time, France's Ministry of Foreign Affairs sent a letter signed by 55 countries to the U.N. Security Council that appealed to the world body to oppose aggressively the actions of al-Assad's regime.
The letter also urged the International Criminal Court to pursue action against the Syrian president.
A United Nations-based, independent international commission of inquiry has found evidence of crimes against humanity and war crimes in Syria. The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights has repeatedly called for the Security Council to refer the situation in Syria to the ICC.
But Russia's Foreign Ministry said Tuesday in a commentary that it would not support taking the matter to the ICC.
"We believe that this idea is not properly timed and counterproductive for tackling the priority task at this moment -- early termination of bloodshed in Syria," it said in a commentary.
"We are certain that speculations over the theme of international criminal prosecution and search for culprits would merely contribute to the rival parties taking firmer irreconcilable positions and complicate the search for ways of a political and diplomatic settlement of the Syrian conflict," the Foreign Ministry said.