Diverse Syria opposition would be hard to help

As an opposition group claims President Bashar Assad's bombardment of the central Syrian city of Homs rages on for a 17th day, with one the near-continuous shelling has killed 24 people and left more than 100 more wounded, the U.S. and other "Friends of Syria" face a daunting challenge if they decide to try and help the battered rebel forces beat their seemingly insurmountable odds.

The opposition in Syria is not a cohesive, united group. There are many rebel fighters, the most prominent group being the Free Syrian Army, but there is little unity.

It would be difficult to verify who actually received any weaponry provided, and equally difficult to figure out how to go about arming them.

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The rebel fighters I met in the northern city of Idlib, and in other spots which have already seen sporadic fighting north of Homs, had no doubt that these places are next on regime's list of where to crackdown.

It is hard to see how the Syrian opposition, facing overwhelming firepower from Assad's forces, can sustain itself at this rate with no outside support and no money.

The government forces are going out of their way to stomp out any last vestiges of opposition, and they've demonstrated a willingness to go to any lengths to accomplish that.

And the fighting is playing out against the backdrop of a rapidly snowballing humanitarian crisis.

As many as 24 killed today alone and many more injured, according to activists, and those with serious injuries are unable to get proper medical treatment.

Field hospitals are constantly coming under fire by regime forces, there is a dearth of medical equipment and medicines - even basic supplies like food and baby formula are in desperately short supply.

CBS News correspondent Clarissa Ward recently snuck across the border to meet Syria's rebel fighters in person. To see her full report on the latest developments in the country being torn apart from within, click on the video player above.

  • Clarissa Ward

    Foreign Correspondent, CBS News