x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Violent clashes continue to rock Damascus, activists say

Regime forces shelled the Damascus neighbourhood of Tadamon today, hours after the most violent battles in the capital since the outbreak of the Syrian revolt, activist say.

BEIRUT // Regime forces shelled the Damascus neighbourhood of Tadamon today, hours after the most violent battles in the capital since the outbreak of the Syrian revolt, activist said.

"Mortar shelling resumed in the early morning," said the Local Coordination Committees, a grassroots network of activists.

The LCC added that regime troops and rebel fighters of the Free Syrian Army also clashed in the Damascus district of Kfar Sousa.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported "dawn battles on the road south of Kfar Sousa, between rebel fighters and soldiers who were in a convoy passing through the area".

"I did not sleep all night," a resident of nearby Jaramana said. "It was a real war zone."

Speaking on condition of anonymity, he said he heard "rockets and shooting until the early hours of the morning," and that he saw four armoured vehicles heading towards the embattled areas.

One Tadamon resident said he did not leave the neighbourhood despite Sunday's violence.

According to the Observatory, unprecedentedly violent clashes broke out in Damascus on Sunday between rebels and regime troops. Amid army shelling, the bloodiest battles took place in the south of the capital.

Activists reported "tanks entering Tadamon and ensuing clashes."

Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman said: "The most violent clashes took place in Tadamon, Kfar Sousa, Nahr Aisha and Sidi Qadad. The security forces are trying to reclaim these neighbourhoods but they have failed so far."