Sept 5 (Reuters) - Here is a snapshot of Reuters news about the crisis in Syria:
* U.S. President Barack Obama faces growing pressure from world leaders not to launch military strikes in Syria at a summit on the global economy that was hijacked by the conflict.
* The United States declares that it has given up trying to work with the U.N. Security Council on Syria, accusing Russia of holding the council hostage and allowing Moscow's allies in Syria to deploy poison gas against innocent children.
* Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's former defence minister has reached Istanbul after a defection that betrays cracks in the president's support among his own Alawite sect, opposition and diplomatic sources say.
* The fate of a U.S. congressional resolution to authorize a military strike against Syria is in the hands of scores of lawmakers from both parties who have not made up their minds and say they are not getting the information they need to do so.
* U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is "guardedly optimistic" that his chamber next week will approve limited military strikes against Syria, a Democratic aide says.
* Syrian opposition groups may meet again within four to six weeks, Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo says.
* Britain has new evidence that chemical weapons were used in an attack on the Syrian capital Damascus, Prime Minister David Cameron says.
* U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will discuss Syria, Egypt and Israeli-Palestinian peace talks with European officials on a weekend trip to Vilnius, Paris and London, the State Department says.
* Europe's top officials stop short of endorsing a U.S.-led push for a military strike against Syria in response to last month's chemical weapons attack, and warn there could be no military solution to the 2-1/2-year-old conflict.
* Pope Francis, in a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin for the G20 summit, urges world leaders to "lay aside the futile pursuit of a military solution" in Syria.
* Iran's most powerful authority, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, says the United States is using a chemical attack in Syria's civil war as a pretext to interfere in the country and warns it would suffer loss from any intervention.
* China warns that military intervention in Syria would hurt the world economy and push up oil prices, reinforcing Vladimir Putin's attempts to talk U.S. President Barack Obama out of air strikes.
* "Our considered view, after months of efforts on chemical weapons and after 2-1/2 years of efforts on Geneva (peace talks), the humanitarian situation is that there is no viable path forward in this Security Council." - U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power
* "Military action would have a negative impact on the global economy, especially on the oil price - it will cause a hike in the oil price." - Chinese Vice Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao
* "We are convinced that if there is no punishment for Mr. Assad, there will be no negotiation." - French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius
* "A military strike against Syria at this time is the wrong course of action." - Democratic Senator Joe Manchin
* "While respecting the recent calls for action, we underscore at the same time the need to move forward with addressing the Syrian crisis through the U.N. process." - European Council President Herman Van Rompuy
* U.S. stocks climb for a third day as the data give further signs of improving U.S. economic conditions. Stocks' gains were limited, however, by the increased expectations of Fed tapering, as well as the possibility of a Western-led strike against Syria, a concern that drove shares down sharply last week.
* Oil futures rise as bullish U.S. economic data and a drawdown in U.S. crude inventories imply increasing demand in the world's biggest oil consumer. Brent held above $115 early on in the session as investors worried that supply disruptions could persist in the Middle East after a U.S. Senate panel on Wednesday supported a military strike on Syria.
* Gold sinks almost 2 percent to two-week lows as upbeat U.S. economic data heightens expectations the U.S. Federal Reserve may soon rein in its massive stimulus program that has bolstered bullion prices. The European Central Bank's pledge to keep interest rates low reverses early gains in bullion, while a lack of progress in any U.S. military action against Syria further weighs on the precious metal's safe-haven status.
* Obama in Russia for a two-day G20 summit that ends on Friday.
* European Union Defense Ministers meet in Vilnius on Thursday and Friday (Compiled by Mohammad Zargham)