The Syrian army appears to be making a final push to overcome opponents to the government in Homs with an intensified ground assault, according to activists.
The opposition claim more tanks and specialist troops are being used to attack the city from all four sides.
They report trying to fend off more than 7,000 troops from President Bashar al-Assad’s army and the Baba Amr neighbourhood is under heavy fire.
Other restive regions are also coming under attack from the army as the government tries to tackle what they call ‘armed gangs and terrorists’.
Activists claim 29 people were killed on Wednesday, nine of them are said to be in Hama and seven in Daraa.
A lieutenant from the opposition Free Syrian Army believes the heavy bombardment is demoralising the official army.
“There’s a lot of defection and it’s ongoing. There was fear before, but now it’s gone. The soldiers used to fear for their families, but now they see everything. The army is all around Syria, tanks are constantly firing shells. They kill any soldier who raises doubts,” he said.
Meanwhile, 37 members of the UN’s Human Rights Council have condemned the violence in Syria. China and Russia abstained from voting.