Syrian opposition bloc urges UN, West to protect civilians under siege in Homs, Daraa

Syria's main opposition bloc is urging the international community to take action to protect civilians in the cities of Homs and Daraa, targeted by the military.

The Syrian National Coalition is appealing to the United Nations and Western countries that have supported the opposition in Syria's civil war "to intervene immediately" and provide food and medicine to the besieged, rebel-held areas of the central city of Homs and Daraa in the south, where the uprising against President Bashar Assad began.

Assad's forces have been bombarding Homs for five straight days, the SNC said in a statement Friday. It said clashes between rebels and troops flared up again in the morning, and shelling of Daraa resumed.

The appeal comes as opposition figures are meeting in Turkey to elect a new leadership.