The major powers inched toward a UN Security Council resolution to back the destruction of Syrias chemical weapons as UN experts resumed the hunt for evidence of poison gas attacks.
But wrangling within the Syrian opposition dealt a new blow to hopes for a peace conference to end the 30-month-old conflict that the UN says has left well over 100,000 dead.
Russia and the United States are negotiating a Security Council resolution to legally enforce the disarmament plan that they agreed to head off a US military strike.
Some western envoys said important progress has been made on the resolution. One said there was agreement on "the main points" of a text which could be put to the 15-member Security Council.