The United Nations Security Council has held an emergency session in New York behind closed doors to discuss a proposed resolution condemning the Syrian government's military offensive against protesters.
United States ambassador Susan Rice described a briefing given on events in Syria as alarming and says there are widespread expressions of concern and condemnation.
Russia has resisted passing a resolution, but has indicated that it might agree to a lesser statement, the BBC reports.
The UN is to hold a further meeting later on Tuesday.
Human Rights groups say about 140 people have been killed by the authorities since Sunday, most of them in Hama.
Reports from Syria say the army's assault in Hama is continuing and protests are being held throughout the country calling for an end to the violence in the city.
The government has promised reforms but says citizens and its troops are being attacked by "armed gangs" backed by unspecified foreign powers.
International journalists have been denied access to Syria and it is not possible to verify accounts by witnesses and activists.