Syria's main Western-backed opposition group is appealing to the international community to help Syrian refugees and internally displaced suffering amid a snowstorm that has killed at least five people.

The Syrian National Coalition's interim premier, Ahmad Touma, said in Istanbul on Thursday that the situation on the ground is "catastrophic" because of low temperatures and lack of tents in refugee camps.

The storm killed three Syrians in Lebanon and two in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on Wednesday.

The wintry weather, which struck much of the Mideast on Tuesday, mostly silenced the guns in Syria and grounded government warplanes because of bad visibility.

Touma says that over the past two months alone, some 2,000 families have fled the violence and that 800 of them are without shelter.