Syrian opposition rebels said Saturday they would resume "defensive operations" against the forces of President Bashar al-Assad, after a deadline they set for his regime to abide by a United Nations-brokered ceasefire expired, dpa reported.
"The regime is not respecting (international envoy Kofi) Annan's peace plan. The regime is killing the people. We cannot stand by watching," Abu Alaa, a commander in the rebel Free Syrian Army, said.
The rebels on Wednesday gave a 48-hour ultimatum to the Syrian regime to abide by the plan of Annan - who is the United Nations and Arab League envoy on the crisis. His six-point peac plan also calls for the withdrawal of government forces from population centres, the release of detainees and access for humanitarian aid to needed areas.
The plan is seen to be crumbling amid warnings that Syria may slide into full-scale civil war.
Opposition activists reported Saturday that shelling attacks by Syrian forces were continuing against the dissident province of Homs for the third consecutive day. No casualty figures were given.
News from Syria is hard to independently verify, as the government has barred most foreign media from the restive areas since a pro-democracy uprising started in the country in March 2011.
Meanwhile, the Arab League was due to meet later Saturday in Doha to discuss the crisis in Syria.