The 21-month old revolt against four decades of Assad family rule rumbles on in Syria.
Violence has continued across the country including in Syria’s largest city, Aleppo.
Opposition sources said rebels had won territory in the south of the country.
In Hama, forces of President Bashar al-Assad were surrounded in a strategic town in the province. Fighting in the area could aggravate sectarian strife as it is home to many Alawite and Christian communities.
Meanwhile in Brussels, the United Nations announced its findings from an inquiry on the conflict in Syria.
“The update describes the increasingly sectarian nature of the conflict, with government forces and supporting militias attacking Sunni civilians, and reports of anti-government armed groups attacking Alawites and other pro-government minority communities,” said Paulo Pinheiro, Chairperson of the United Nations Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria.
President Bashar al-Assad’s forces have been hitting back at rebel advances with heavy shelling in suburbs of Damascus where rebels are dominant.
Deaths have also been reported in Homs Province.
According to human rights groups, at least 40,000 people have been killed since fighting broke out.