Syria: Damascus 'has deteriorated' as fighting increases
7 December 2012 Last updated at 00:45 GMT
There have been reports that fighting has worsened in the Syrian capital Damascus over recent weeks.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has written to President Assad of Syria warning him not to use any chemical weapons against his opponents.
The Assad government has denied claims that it is intending to use any such weapons.
The BBC's Middle East Editor Jeremy Bowen reports on the changes he has noticed since he last visited in January.