(AFP) Syrian air strikes on a besieged rebel town in the heart of the country have killed nearly 50 people over the past two days, a monitoring group said on Wednesday.
On Monday, air strikes killed 23 people in the town, which has been under siege by the army ever since rebels seized it two year ago.
Activists appealed for help on Facebook.
A security source in Damascus confirmed the air strikes.
He identified the dead commander as Abu Hatem al-Dahik, head of the rebel Al-Iman Brigade.
The Observatory said that rebels in Talbisseh had shelled regime positions around the nearby rebel-held town of Umm Sharshuh as fighting raged around it.
The towns are among a number that the rebels still hold in Homs province after their withdrawal from Homs city earlier year.
The Observatory meanwhile updated to 18 its toll for the number of rebels killed in an abortive attempt to infiltrate the heart of Damascus on Monday. Two pro-regime militiamen were also killed.
One person was killed in central Damascus on Wednesday by rebel fire from its outskirts, the state SANA news agency reported.
Some 191,000 people have been killed since an uprising against President Bashar al-Assad’s rule erupted in March 2011.