The new president of the opposition Syrian National Coalition Ahmad Jarba has offered Assad's forces a truce for the duration of the holy month of Ramadan.

This is to stop fighting in the besieged city of Homs, where rebels face a ground and air onslaught by Hezbollah-backed troops and militia loyal to Syrian president Assad.

Mr Jarba was speaking in Istanbul where he had been elected president of the Syrian National Coalition at a meeting this weekend.

Mr Jarba, who has close links to Saudi Arabia, told Reuters in the first interview since he was elected president of the coalition yesterday said that he expected advanced weapons supplied by Saudi Arabia to reach rebel fighters soon.

He said that this would change their military situation, which he described as weak.

He said that the opposition will not go to a proposed US and Russian sponsored peace conference in Geneva unless its military position becomes strong.