Syrian army air strikes in the central city of Homs on Sunday killed three civilians, as regime forces pressed forward with a new bid to to retake several rebel-controlled districts, a watchdog said.
Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman said at least three civilians, a woman and two children, were killed in the air strikes in the Old City, and that dozens of people had been injured since the army assault began on Saturday.
On Saturday, the group said regime forces were engaged in “unprecedented” bombardment of several parts of Homs, including Khaldiyeh, Bab Hud, Hamidiyeh and Bustan al-Diwan.
A security source in Damascus confirmed fierce fighting was underway in Homs.
Syria’s Al Watan daily, which is close to the government, said on Sunday that the army had “made qualitative new advances in the city of Homs amid fierce clashes with armed militias in Khalidiyeh and Bab Hud.”
The operation prompted Syria’s key opposition National Coalition to issue a statement late Saturday urging “battalions of the Free Syrian Army to come to the aid of Homs with all means possible”.
The group also called on international backers of the uprising to establish a no-fly zone and carry out air strikes against regime military bases.
Homs, the third largest-city in the country, was one of the first to join the revolt against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime more than two years ago.
Khaldiyeh and the Old City have been under siege by the army for around a year.