Homs, which has become the ‘capital of the Syrian revolution,’ is the gathering point for several armed opposition groups looking to remove President Bashar al-Assad from power.

The attacks this morning, which began just after 2am (12am GMT), were staged by Syrian forces in the Khalidiya, Baba Amro, Bayada and Bab Dreib neighbourhoods.

“The tally that we have received from various activists in Homs since the shelling started this morning is 50, mostly civilians,” Catherine al-Talli, of the Syrian National Council opposition group, told Reuters.

Just yesterday, a draft U.N. resolution, which would support an Arab plan to remove Assad from power, was blocked by Russian and Chinese vetoes. US secretary of state Hillary Clinton then called for ‘friends of democratic Syria’ to unite against Assad’s authoritarian regime, promising harsher ‘regional and national’ sanctions against Damascus.

More than 200 people – the most killed in one day since the uprisings began last March – died Friday night in an attack on the Khalidiya neighbourhood.

“The regime is acting as if it were immune to international intervention and has a free hand to use violence against the people,” Talli said.