The head of the Arab League said on Monday the Syrian army's use of heavy weapons against civilians was an escalation that edged the country towards civil war.
"We follow with great anxiety and irritation developments in the field situation in Syria, and the escalation of military operations in the city of Homs and rural areas of Damascus, and the Syrian armed forces' use of heavy weapons against civilians," Arab League chief Nabil Elaraby said in a statement.
In the statement published by the Egyptian state news agency, Elaraby said the escalation took the crisis in Syria in "a serious direction", adding that it pushed "conditions towards a slide towards civil war".
An Arab foreign ministers' meeting called to discuss the situation in Syria was postponed by one day to February 12, the League said in a separate statement on Monday. The delay was requested by Gulf states which are holding their own meeting on February 11 in Riyadh.
Saudi urges 'critical measures'
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia on Monday called for "critical measures" to be taken on Syria, warning of an impending "humanitarian disaster" after the UN Security Council failed to pass a resolution on the crisis there.
"The UN Security Council's failure to pass a resolution in support of the Arab initiative must not prevent the taking of critical measures to protect innocent lives and stop the bloodshed and all acts of violence that threaten serious consequences for the Syrian people and regional stability," a cabinet statement said.
Riyadh "appeals to the international community not to stop exerting sincere efforts to find a solution to this crisis that has killed hundreds of Syrians and threatens to cause a humanitarian disaster if it continues," said the statement carried by state news agency SPA.