The Syrian military launched fresh attacks on the outskirts of Damascus on Monday, a day after President Bashar al-Assad ruled out a dialogue with opposition groups, dpa reported.
Haytham al Abdallah, an opposition activist in Damascus, said: "Despite the snowy weather, al-Assad's forces bombarded with dozens of shells and rocket launchers the rebel-held area of Daraya, killing three people and wounding 10."
He said that army reinforcements backed by tanks were sent to the suburb of Zabadani in preparation for a new assault on the region that is currently held by the rebels.
In his first public address in more than seven months, al-Assad called the opposition groups fighting to oust him "puppets" of the West.
"These are the enemies of the people, the enemies of God. Eventually they resorted to terrorism to terrorize the people," al-Assad said Sunday.
He outlined a plan aimed at ending the conflict that the United Nations says has claimed more than 60,000 lives.
He spoke of a national reconciliation conference, a broad-based government, parliamentary elections and a new constitution. But the plan was rejected by the opposition.
US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said al-Assad's initiative was "detached from reality", while British Foreign Secretary William Hague said the speech was "beyond hypocritical".
In an interview with broadcaster CNN, Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi said he backed Syrian calls for al-Assad to be tried for war crimes, and predicted the regime would fall.
"The Syrian people, through their revolution, and through the movement will, when the bloodshed stops, move to a new stage where they will have an independent parliament and the government of their choosing," Morsi said.
Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi on Monday welcomed al-Assad's plan. "Iran welcomes and supports this comprehensive plan as a realistic solution for the crisis and beginning of a stable and luminous future in Syria."
Al-Assad in his speech thanked Russia, China and Iran - his main allies - for their support during the crisis, which started as a pro-democracy uprising in March 2011 and has since spiralled into civil war.