With thousands of refugees streaming across Syria's borders into Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq, Syrian government forces continued to pound the country's commercial capital, Aleppo in a bid to regain ground won by Free Syrian Army rebels.
The country's foreign minister, Walid al-Muallem, who has not been seen since the devastating bomb attack two weeks ago that killed four of President Bashar al-Assad's top security and defence officials, warned the rebel's big to seize control of Aleppo would fail.
Speaking on a state visit to Iran, the foreign minister described the 17-month long uprising that the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says has left as many as 20,000 dead, as nothing more than a conspiracy of armed terrorist groups serving the interests of Syria's neighbouring enemy, Israel.
“Today I tell you, Syria is stronger …in less than a week they [the rebels] were defeated [in Damascus],” he said, predicting the same would happen in Aleppo, Reuters reported.
Rebels forces say they have so far been able to hold off the official army in the south-western Aleppo neighbourhood of Salaheddine, while fighting continues in other districts held by the Free Syria Army.
Terrified residents who have been in the firing line for the last week were fleeing the city, and local activists say up to 190 people were killed on Sunday, although that figure cannot be verified.
There are more than 150,000 Syrians registered with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, although it is understood the number of people who have fled the country is much higher.
Many are staying with relatives in neighbouring countries or delay registering with the UN until they run out food and other basics and are forced to seek assistance, the UN said.
So many have been flooding across the Syrian border into Jordan that it opened its first official camp on the weekend, with enough room for 10,000 refugees and the capacity to expand to 100,000.
Turkey already has several refugee camps for Syrians fleeing the increasingly violent uprising - many of them leaving the city of Aleppo, which is just 50 kilometres from the border - and the UN says it has plans to build two more camps with the capacity to hold a further 20,000 people as the refugee crisis worsens.