(CNN) -- Syrian forces in Damascus loyal to President Bashar al-Assad have fired at least four Scud missiles inside Syria, presumably at rebel groups, a U.S. official said Wednesday.
U.S. military satellites picked up and confirmed the infrared signature of the four short-range Scud missiles, which were launched from the Damascus area to northern Syria, said the official.
Separately, NATO issued a statement saying that the alliance had "detected the launch of a number of unguided, short-range ballistic missiles inside Syria this week," and that the "trajectory and distance traveled indicate they were Scud-type missiles."
The move represents an escalation in the fighting in the 20-month civil war. It came as Syria's newly formed opposition coalition won recognition from international supporters on Wednesday in Morocco.
The Friends of Syria group, representing more than 100 countries and organizations, agreed Wednesday to recognize the National Coalition of the Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people.
The designation immediately broadens international recognition for the coalition and should pave the way for additional support for the rebel cause, said Brookings Institution analyst Salman Shaikh, who attended the session in Marrakech, Morocco.
"What this recognition does, I think, is give the coalition more confidence in its workings," Shaikh said.
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Men warm themselves by a fire on a street corner in Aleppo, Syria, on Sunday, December 9. Click through to view images of the fighting from December, or see photos of the conflict from November.
A rebel soldier watches Al-Jazeera news in a shop near the front lines in Aleppo on December 9.
A rebel soldier prays in a shop in Aleppo on December 9.
Syrians mourn a fallen fighter at a rebel base in the al-Fardos area of Aleppo on Saturday, December 8.
A Syria rebel commander sits behind a desk in his bombed-out position in Aleppo on December 8.
A Syrian rebel fighter emerges from a hole in a wall in Aleppo on December 8.
Rebel fighters take part in a demonstration against the Syrian regime after Friday prayers in Aleppo on December 7.
A wounded rebel fighter is transported to a hospital in the back of a truck in Aleppo, Syria, on Thursday, December 6. At least 23 people died in Syria on Thursday, most of them in Damascus and Aleppo, according to the opposition Local Coordination Committees of Syria.
Rebel soldiers stand guard inside a building in Aleppo on December 6.
Angelina Jolie, special envoy for the U.N. refugee agency, meets with Syrian refugees at the Zaatari refugee camp outside Mafraq, Jordan, on December 6.
In this handout from the Shaam News Network, Free Syrian Army fighters stand guard against forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the Al-khalidiya neighborhood of Homs on Tuesday, December 4.
In this handout from the Shaam News Network, Free Syrian Army fighters take cover in destroyed buildings during clashes with regime forces on December 4.
Syrians cross the border from Ras al-Ain, Syria, to the Turkish border town of Ceylanpinar on Tuesday, December 4.
Boys walk through a damaged area In Aleppo, Syria, seen through a destroyed car on December 4.
A man inspects rubble in a neighborhood of Aleppo on Sunday, December 2.
The bodies of three children reportedly killed in a mortar shell attack are laid out for relatives to identify at a makeshift hospital in Aleppo on December 2.
Smoke rises from fighting in the Hanano and Bustan al-Basha districts of Aleppo on Saturday, December 1.
Syrian-Kurdish women and members of the Popular Protection Units, an armed opposition group to the Syrian government, stand guard during a comrade's funeral in a northern Syrian border village on December 1.
Photos: Showdown in Syria
Previously, several Arab and European states, including France and the United Kingdom, had recognized the group.
The recognition, however, did little to soothe opposition leaders stung by U.S. President Barack Obama's decision Tuesday to list one rebel group as a terrorist organization.
Opposition leader Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib urged the United States to rescind its decision to list the al-Nusra organization as a terrorist group and impose sanctions on its leaders, saying the coalition rejects radical violence.
Al-Nusra is not part of the coalition but has fought against Syria's government and, consequently, has support among Syrians sympathetic to the rebellion, Shaikh said.
The United States sent Deputy Secretary of State William Burns to the Friends of Syria meeting, which came a day after Obama said his administration had decided to grant recognition to the coalition.
"We've made a decision that the Syrian opposition coalition is now inclusive enough, is reflective and representative enough of the Syrian population that we consider them the legitimate representative of the Syrian people in opposition to the Assad regime," he told ABC's Barbara Walters.
At the Morocco meeting, Burns told Syrian rebel leaders that their newfound recognition is freighted with the weight of international expectations.
"This leadership comes with real responsibilities," he said, according to a transcript posted on the State Department's website. "We look to the coalition to continue creating more formal structures within the opposition and to accelerate planning for a democratic political transition that protects the rights, the dignity, and the aspirations of all Syrians and all communities. That means taking concrete steps to include women and minorities; engage with religious leaders and civil society; and discourage reprisals and inter-communal violence."
On top of previous commitments, Burns said the United States will provide $14 million for emergency medical care and for supplies to help Syrians live through the coming winter, including plastic insulation, boots and nutritional supplies.
Saudi Arabia also pledged $100 million in aid Wednesday, Shaikh said.
Obama's statement Tuesday came as a surprise to Russia, said Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
Lavrov said an agreement he had worked out in Geneva, Switzerland, with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton laid out a path for a negotiated transfer of power, but he said the new coalition's goals call for it to "overturn the regime, dismantle government institutions and refuse dialogue with the Syrian government."
"We inquired with our American partners as to how that conforms with the logic of the Geneva communique, and they told us that the most important thing is to unite the opposition, and its platform can, quote, 'be corrected,' " Lavrov said.
As the diplomatic talks were going on in Morocco, violence continued in Syria.
State TV showed images of an explosion outside the Interior Ministry in Damascus, saying it was part of a three bombings that killed five people and injured 23.
The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the explosion killed eight Syrian soldiers and wounded 40.
The state-run SANA news agency said two bombs exploded behind the Justice Palace, injuring one person.
The opposition Local Coordination Committees of Syria said at least 70 people had died in fighting Wednesday, including two children. The group said government warplanes struck at targets in the suburbs of Damascus as rebels and government forces clashed nationwide.