Opposition activists in Syria say tanks have been deployed by the army in the eastern city of Deir al-Zor.
Rebels say they have been arming their own fighters there as goverment forces have been concentrating on putting down the uprising in Homs.
As the fighting shows no signs of abating, China has urged both sides in the conflict to end all acts of violence.
In a statement from the Foreign Ministry, China called on Syria’s government to engage with rebels in inclusive “political dialogue with no preconditions”.
The bodies of two dead journalists killed in Homs have been handed over to embassy officials by the Syrian Red Cross in the capital Damascus.
The French Ambassador received the body of photographer Remi Ochlik while the remains of US reporter Marie Colvin were given to a Polish diplomat – Poland represents US interests in Syria.
Both journalists were killed in the bombardment of Homs on February 22.