Syrian activists say three people have been killed in government airstrikes on the central city of Homs.

President Bashar Assad's forces have been on the offensive in Homs, reclaiming some of the territory they have lost to the rebels since Syria's crisis began 27 months ago.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says Syrian army warplanes began pounding the old quarters of Homs early Sunday, killing one woman and two children.

A city of about 1 million, Homs has sided with the rebels since the early days of the uprising.

Homs is Syria's third largest city and capital of its largest province, which carries the same name and stretches from the Lebanese border to the frontier with Jordan and Iraq.