The United Nations' aid chief Valerie Amos signaled to the Security Council on Wednesday that it needed to take stronger action to gain greater aid access in Syria, but France said opposition by Russia to any robust moves created the "sad impression of a dead end."

Amos said the violence and humanitarian situation in Syria, ravaged by a civil war now in its fourth year, had only worsened since the council adopted a resolution two months ago that demanded safe and unhindered aid access, including across borders.

More than 150,000 people have been killed in Syria's three-year-old civil war. Some 2.5 million people have fled abroad and 9 million people inside the country need help, including nearly 3.5 million who have no access to essential goods and services.

"Far from getting better, the situation is getting worse," Amos said after briefing the 15-member council behind closed doors. "It's absolutely horrific what's happening day by day. Children, women, men are being directly targeted."

"The Security Council, in previous situations when we have seen this, have come together around humanitarian issues and have passed robust Security Council resolutions," she said.

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