Assad denies involvement in Houla massacre
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has denied his regime's forces played any role in last month's Houla massacre, which killed more than 100 people, many of them children.
Addressing his country's parliament, Mr Assad called the killings an "ugly crime" and blamed "terrorists" supported by foreign powers for Syria's divisions.
"What happened in Houla and elsewhere are brutal massacres which even monsters would not have carried out," he said.
"If we don't feel the pain the pain that squeezes our hearts, as I felt it, for the cruel scenes - especially the children - then we are not human beings."
Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati has been holding talks with ministers and officials in Lebanon's port of Tripoli after clashes erupted between heavily-armed supporters and opponents of President Assad, killing nine people.
The Lebanese National News Agency said there was "shelling across both areas heard every five minutes, and snipers targeting civilians".
International peace envoy Kofi Annan said on Saturday that Syria was slipping towards all-out civil war and that the entire region could suffer if the international community did not step up pressure on Mr Assad.