Aid workers are poised to enter the contested city of Homs to evacuate civilians trapped and wounded by fighting between the Syrian army and rebels.
Both sides have agreed to a temporary truce according to the International Committee of the Red Cross whose teams are still waiting to enter.
Conditions in heavily bombarded Homs are becoming increasingly desperate.
“We don’t have anything to eat or drink,” said one elderly woman, standing among ruins. “They destroyed our home. I am asking God to hit you as you hit us,” she added, referring to President Assad.
As activists reported dozens more deaths nationwide, a UN monitoring mission remains suspended amid the worsening bloodshed.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, is preparing to meet her Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on a visit to Saint Petersburg next week.
Washington and Moscow have widely differing views on the Syrian conflict and have struggled to find common ground.