"The government will try to airdrop supplies from helicopter. They did not dare land," al-Shule said. "Most times they would miss, and we would take the food. It was inedible."
Opposition says 157 killed Wednesday
The claims came on a day when opposition activists said another 160 people were killed in the country's civil war, which dates back to March 2011. Of those, at least 15 were killed in shelling at Al-Ansari district in the city of Aleppo on Thursday, among the deaths were 5 children and two women, at least 20 others were wounded.
In Daraa, a car bomb exploded outside the house of the head main branch of the Baath party. Three guards were killed, and four were seriously injured.
By the end of Wednesday, at least 96 had died in the Damascus area, most of them in a single incident -- a pair of car bombings in the town of Jaramana that killed 77 people, according to the Local Coordination Committees of Syria, a network of opposition activists.
Jaramana, a small town surrounded by fields, has provided a refuge for pro-government Syrians displaced in the civil war. Its residents are a mix of Christians and Druze, the latter a minority offshoot of Shiite Islam. Women and children were among those killed there, the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.
Syria's Interior Ministry had conflicting numbers for the bombings, reporting 34 dead and 83 injured.
At the same time the car bombs went off, two explosive devices simultaneously detonated in the al-Nahda and al-Qerayyat neighborhoods, both of which are in the Damascus suburbs. Officials did not provide a casualty count in those areas.
Government officials blamed the attacks on terrorists, a term Syria routinely uses for rebel fighters and extremist elements in the country.
About 40,000 civilians have been killed since the first protests began against al-Assad's government, according to the opposition Center for Documentation of Violations in Syria. More than 380,000 Syrian refugees have fled to neighboring countries, creating humanitarian challenges abroad.
CNN cannot confirm claims by the government or the opposition because of government restrictions that prevent journalists from reporting freely within Syria.
Turkey asked NATO Wednesday for Patriot missiles to bolster its air defenses against its southern neighbor, with which it shares an 822-kilometer (about 511-mile) border.
A letter to NATO included the "formal request" that the alliance send "air defense elements," according to a Turkish government statement that cited "the threats and risks posed by the continuing crisis in Syria to our national security."
The statement added that the NATO Council would convene "shortly" to consider the matter.
NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in a Twitter post that the request would be considered without delay. A fact-finding team is on the ground in Turkey, according to Lt. Col. Jay Janzen, a spokesman for Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe.
"The fact-finding teams include experts from the nations that have shown their willingness to offer Patriots as well as Turkish officials and a few NATO experts," he said.
Turkish officials have emphasized that any deployment of the Patriot missiles would be purely for defensive measures. President Abdullah Gul said earlier this month that Turkey has no intention of going to war with Syria.
A NATO official who is not authorized to speak on record to the media told CNN that the fact-finding team now in Turkey includes military personnel from Germany, the United States and Holland, the three countries that have available Patriot missile batteries.
The official also indicated that those batteries could be deployed dozens of kilometers away from the border fence.
"No decisions have been made about the location and numbers of Patriot batteries in Turkey," the official said.
The official said he doesn't believe "there will be an imminent threat from this deployment escalating the conflict between Turkey and Syria."
"By contrast, I think it will demonstrate a deterrence effect," the official said, "and make it clear that NATO is prepared to defend Turkish territory and Turkish population."