France says the Security Council should consider the use of force in Syria if a UN-backed peace plan fails to stop violence in the country.
Violence has continued despite a plan by international envoy Kofi Annan calling on Damascus to withdraw troops and heavy weapons from cities.
The French Foreign Minister said 300 UN monitors should be deployed in Syria within two weeks.
If the peace plan fails, he added, "We would have to move to a new stage with a Chapter Seven resolution which allows for action that could be backed by force to stop this tragedy".
France's demands reflect frustration with what it sees as the inadequacies of Kofi Annan's peace plan, and signal an attempt to move to a more aggressive posture.
However, Russia and China continue to oppose anything that looks like outside intervention.
Violence was reported yesterday in several parts of Syria - including in towns where observers are monitoring a ceasefire agreed earlier this month.