BEIRUT (AP) — The Syrian capital of Damascus is again the scene of battles between rebels and troops loyal to President Bashar Assad.
Activists say the two sides clashed today in contested neighborhoods in the northeast, and that the rebels were able to shut down a key highway out of the capital with a row of burning tires.
The latest fighting in Damascus is some of the heaviest to hit the city since July. It began Wednesday with a series of rebel attacks on regime checkpoints along the main road to northern Syria.
The two sides have been fighting in the area since then, and regime troops have shelled a number of rebel-held districts.
The violence has brought the civil war closer to the heart of the capital, which has mostly been spared heavy fighting.
APPHOTO CAI102: This image taken from video obtained from Ugarit News on Friday, Feb. 8, 2013, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, show smoke and fire rising on a main highway in Damascus, Syria. Rebels pushed forward in their battle with the Syrian army in northeastern Damascus on Friday, shutting down a main highway with a row of burning tires, activists said. A number of rebel brigades launched a campaign Wednesday to attack regime checkpoints along the highway and have been clashing in the area since. The government has responded by shelling number of rebel areas nearby. (AP Photo/Ugarit News via AP video) (8 Feb 2013)
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