DAMASCUS - Syrian forces bombarded towns in the northern province of Aleppo on Saturday, as the conflict spilled into neighbouring Lebanon, where two girls were killed by shelling from across the border.
At least nine people were killed in Syria, including four soldiers, a rebel and a civilian in Aleppo violence, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
"Regime forces are attempting to regain control over this (Aleppo) region, where they suffered heavy casualties over the past months to rebels," the Observatory said, adding that the bombardment killed a civilian and wounded dozens in the town of Qabtan al-Jabal.
"A large number of families have been displaced from the area for fear of shelling and lack of water, electricity and medical services," the watchdog added of the attacks in the Northern Province.
The violence came a day after 93 people were killed across Syria on Friday, as dozens of protesters took to the streets calling for a "People's liberation war."
In Lebanon, a teenager died when a rocket hit her house in the border region of Wadi Khaled, a Lebanese security official said, adding that five others were wounded by rockets and exchanges of gunfire.
"A few hours later, an eight-year-old Bedouin girl, who recently fled with her parents from Syria, was killed," said a hospital source in Akkar province.
"A military expert who visited the site said it was either a mine planted in the area or an explosive they were handling," the security source said, after initially reporting that a shell had hit their tent.
A local official said clashes had broken out at dawn between the Syrian army and gunmen on the Lebanese side of the border.
On Friday, some 100 nations and organisations meeting in Paris called on the UN Security Council to adopt a transition plan for Syria backed by economic sanctions if the regime refuses to comply.
Concretely, they asked the council to urgently adopt a six-point peace plan drawn up by UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan under the UN Charter's Chapter VII.
But the final statement stressed that any immediate action under Article 41 provided only for non-military intervention.
The Annan plan, which insists on a cessation of violence by all sides, has made little headway and activists say an estimated 16,500 people have now died since the uprising began in March last year.
"We should go back and ask for a resolution in the Security Council that imposes real and immediate consequences for non-compliance, including sanctions," ranging from economic measures to military force, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said.
In some of her toughest comments yet, Clinton said she thought China and long-time Syrian ally Russia did "not believe they are paying any price at all for standing up on behalf of the regime".
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov "categorically" rejected "the formulation that Russia supports Bashar al-Assad's regime in the situation that has developed in Syria".
Although Moscow did not attend the meeting, a diplomatic source insisted that "Russian political and security circles are changing their position".
The meeting took place as news emerged that a general from Assad's most trusted inner circle had defected in what would be a major blow to the regime as it battles the opposition.
General Munaf Tlass, a boyhood friend of Assad, was a general in the elite Republican Guard charged with protecting the regime. He is the son of former defence minister Mustafa Tlass, a close friend of Assad's late father and predecessor, Hafez.
In other developments, UN chief Ban Ki-moon called on Friday for scaling down an observer mission in Syria to refocus on political efforts to end the bloodshed.
He said the observers' mandate should remain unchanged, though with a "reduced military observer component and the focus shifting from monitoring a ceasefire that has never taken hold toward a more political role.