Tension brewed Wednesday between the United Nations and rebels after about 30 rebels detained 20 U.N. peacekeepers and refused to let them go.
The rebels say the peacekeepers entered a Syrian village near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, an area where peacekeepers should not be and where intense fighting has been raging for days between rebels and government forces.
The rebels say they suspect the peacekeepers were trying to aid their enemy, which is defending the al-Assad regime.
The United Nations confirmed the peacekeepers' detention and said they were on a "regular supply mission." The United Nations offered no further details of that mission but said it is "dispatching a team to assess the situation and attempt a resolution."
Intervention: Global attempts and failures
So far, international attempts to stymie the bloodshed have failed.
Trouble brewed from the beginning, when the U.N. Security Council couldn't unify on an action plan for Syria.
Western countries wanted tougher sanctions against the Syrian government, but Russia and China said they didn't want to meddle in another country's internal affairs.
The United Nations and the Arab League sent two seasoned diplomats -- Kofi Annan and Lakhdar Brahimi -- to try to broker cease-fires in Syria, but negotiations never ended the violence.
But the western Syrian town of Tal Kalakh may be a microcosm of hope. There, Syrian forces and rebels have agreed to a cease-fire, brokered in part by a parliamentarian and a sheikh.
Residents in other parts of the country, though, aren't so fortunate.
The death toll: Relentless carnage
The United Nations estimates more than 70,000 Syrians -- mostly civilians -- have been killed in the past two years.
At least 10,000 people have died since early January, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Wednesday. "That means more people have died in the first two months of this year than in the whole of the first year of the conflict," he said in remarks published online.
Though there is "no sign that the Assad regime currently intends to enter into a genuine political process," Hague said, securing "a diplomatic breakthrough remains of course our objective."
On Wednesday, at least 62 people were killed in the conflict, according to the Local Coordination Committees of Syria, an opposition group.
But it's almost impossible to verify and keep up with the latest death figures. The Syrian government has severely restricted access by international journalists.
Dissidents say many of the civilians killed were caught in aerial attacks from warplanes -- unable to predict when the next bomb will strike.
The war started when al-Assad's forces cracked down on civilians demanding more freedoms and government reform. The president's family has ruled Syria for almost 43 years.
The violence led to an armed uprising and escalated into a civil war, with al-Assad trying to defend his rule against rebels demanding his ouster.