United Nations special envoy Kofi Annan has arrived in Damascus for talks with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Annan's visit Sunday comes the day after the former U.N. chief admitted that the international efforts to stem the bloodshed in Syria have failed.
Annan is the architect of the most prominent international plan to end the 16-month crisis.
Also Sunday, Syrian state media announced the start of large-scale military drills along the country's coast to practice how to repel an attack by sea.
In an interview due to be broadcast on German television later on Sunday, Assad accused the United States of providing material and political support to the rebels and hindering Annan's peace plan.
Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.