U.S. officials have confirmed the authenticity of a video showing the beheading of the American journalist.
In Syria, activists say more than 40 people have been killed by government forces in a village in the northwest part of the country.
This latest violence comes as the drumbeat for arming the rebels in Syria continues in the U.S.
Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona is one of the leading voices in that effort.
He told NPR’s Morning Edition, “Every day that goes by that we don’t provide the assistance, then the more complicated the situation will be once Bashar al-Assad leaves. But at the present situation there is stalemate for the months to come.”
The Syrian conflict is now in its third year and neighboring countries are being drawn into the fight.
That includes Lebanon, where members of the militant group Hezbollah support Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.
The BBC’s Wyre Davies reports.