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Yarmouk camp for Palestinian refugees in Damascus on Saturday (AP)
Yarmouk camp for Palestinian refugees in Damascus on Saturday (AP)

Syria: Authorities & Rebels are battling in Damascus & Aleppo

( Omar al-Shaar | Dp-news)

Syria- Press reports, both local and international ones, say that violent clashes and attacks continued on Sunday in neighborhoods of Aleppo and Damascus, Syria's two main cities. Syrian regime forces keeps telling that it is fighting to regain control over areas that rebels “armed terrorists” claimed to have seized in recent days.

Syrian activists report Sunday that security forces have attacked rebels in the capital Damascus with helicopters and tanks, while rebels launched an offensive against the government in the northern city of Aleppo.

In Damascus, the government maintained its effort to mop up pockets of rebel fighters who had moved close to the center of the capital. Fighting was heavy in the neighborhoods of Barzeh and Mazzeh, activists said, with periodic rocket blasts heard from a distance in Mazzeh.



The activists say government troops used helicopter gunships and tank fire to try to drive rebels out of the Damascus neighborhoods of Barzeh and Mazzeh. Syrian state news agency SANA denied that helicopters were deployed and insisted the capital was “normal” as security forces chased what it called “terrorist” remnants from the streets.



"The situation in Damascus is normal, but the security forces are pursuing the remnants of the terrorists in some streets," it said.

Syria`s official media on Sunday also reports “ A tanker filled with carbon dioxide bound to soda water factories in Lattakia exploded at Tartous Port on Sunday.”



SANA, Syrian official news agency, reports too “Authorities inflict heavy losses upon terrorists in Damascus, Aleppo and Hama.”

Earlier On Saturday, an official source at Homs Central Prison refuted the reports spread by some media sources and the false news about defections or a riot in the prison, affirming that what actually happened was a normal altercation among inmates which was resolved.



Press reports abroad indicated that the Syrian capital Damascus remains in a state of war as regime forces continued to use heavy artillery, military tanks and helicopters in its battle against rebels taking positions in the neighborhoods of Ruken Addin, Tadamon, Kafarsouseh (Basateen al-Razi), Mazzeh and Barzeh.



Rebels were driven from Mazzeh, the diplomatic district of Damascus, residents and opposition activists said, and more than 1,000 government troops and allied militiamen poured into the area, backed by armored vehicles, tanks and bulldozers.



In Aleppo, Syria`s second main city at north, SANA reports “An information source on Sunday warned that some satellite channels are broadcasting false news on the situation in Aleppo city and the movement of the armed terrorist groups in it.”



International press quoted a rebel commander appeared in an Internet video, announcing that the battle to liberate the commercial hub of Aleppo has begun. Witnesses reported street battles in several districts including Salaheddine and Sakhour.



Clashes between rebels and regime forces intensified in the city of Aleppo as regime forces continued its nationwide military offensive against the opposition strongholds leaving scores of civilians dead and hundreds wounded, according to Press reports.



Activists reported heavy street battles for a third day in several Aleppo neighborhoods, where urban warfare erupted for the first time this week. One video posted on YouTube, which could not be confirmed independently, showed heavy black smoke spiraling out of one quarter, while a rebel commander on another video said the battle to free the northern city of government soldiers had begun in earnest.

In the eastern city of Deir Izzour, several were under rocket attack by helicopters and artillery, the activists report press on Sunday.

Elsewhere, Turkish officials said Syrian rebels seized another border crossing between the two countries on Sunday, taking control of the Bab al-Salama complex from Syrian troops. Rebels captured the Syrian side of another crossing (Bab al-Hawa) on the Turkish border last week.



But, Iraqi officials said Syrian insurgents withdrew from the Rabiya border crossing with Iraq overnight, allowing Syrian troops to reclaim it. Rebels remained in control of the Syrian side of the Albu Kamal crossing with Iraq.



Syrian state television broadcast an image of President Bashar al-Assad meeting with his new army chief of staff. It said the Syrian president met General Ali Ayyoub on Sunday and gave him instructions.



International Press indicated that Sunday's images of President al-Assad were his second appearance on television since the attack. But, the Syrian president's whereabouts remain unknown and he has not spoken publicly in recent days, fueling perceptions that the assassination of four members of his inner circle has weakened his grip on power.



Press reports added that the Syrian regime military appeared to be pushing back successfully against rebels in many places, including in some neighborhoods of Damascus.

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