The head of Syria's Olympic committee has been refused a visa to the UK, the BBC reported Friday.

According to the report, General Mowaffak Joumaa has been denied the visa due to his links to President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

The decision came a day after the bloodiest day in Syria since the start of the failed United Nations ceasefire on April 12, with 168 people killed in fighting on Thursday.

It's the bloodiest day since the start of the [April 12] ceasefire and one of the bloodiest since the start of the revolt against the Syrian regime, Syrian Observatory for Human Rights Director Rami Abdel Rahman said, according to Britain's Daily Telegraph.

At least 104 civilians, 54 soldiers and 10 rebel fighters were killed, the Observatory reported.

The worst of the fighting was concentrated in the capital Homs, where 31 civilians and one opposition fighter died, and in Douma, where 30 civilians were also killed.

Elsewhere, a Syrian air force pilot who flew his MiG-21 fighter jet to a Jordanian air base has been granted asylum in that country.

The defection comes as reports emerged that senior Assad loyalists were seeking out exit strategies, making direct contact with rebel forces to assure safety if they decided to join the opposition movement.

It is estimated more than 15,000 people have been killed in the conflict, which began in March 2011.