Skip to main content

Fighting intensifies in Damascus

By Frederik Pleitgen, CNN
updated 6:51 AM EST, Thu February 7, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Opposition groups say they have launched an offensive to take capital
  • The government news agency denies the claim
  • "It is very scary today," says an opposition member in Damascus

Damascus, Syria (CNN) -- Fighting Wednesday here was among the most intense to date in the nearly two years of upheaval, some residents said.

In the southern suburbs of the capital, smoke rose from buildings that had been targeted by heavy ordnance.

Warplanes flew above the area, which was also targeted by barrages of artillery shelling, machine gun and small-arms fire.

The attacks came as some opposition groups said they had launched an offensive to take the Syrian capital, a claim denied by the official news agency.

In this photo provided by the anti-government activist group Aleppo Media Center, Syrian men help survivors out of a building in Aleppo after it was bombed, allegedly by a Syrian regime warplane on Saturday, February 8. The United Nations estimates more than 100,000 people have been killed since the Syrian conflict began in March 2011. Click through to see the most compelling images taken during the conflict, which is now a civil war: In this photo provided by the anti-government activist group Aleppo Media Center, Syrian men help survivors out of a building in Aleppo after it was bombed, allegedly by a Syrian regime warplane on Saturday, February 8. The United Nations estimates more than 100,000 people have been killed since the Syrian conflict began in March 2011. Click through to see the most compelling images taken during the conflict, which is now a civil war:
Syrian civil war in photos
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
>
>>
Syrian civil war in photos Syrian civil war in photos
Rebels look to push into Damascus
Photographer: World has failed Syria

The Syrian Arab News Agency said that government military forces were conducting operations against armed "terrorist" groups in Damascus.

Lena Al-Shami, a member of the opposition group Media Office of Damascus, told CNN that clashes were taking place throughout much of the capital.

"It was very scary today, we can hear heavy clashes and shelling," she said. "I have people calling me and asking me if they should stay at home tomorrow; the problem is that we don't know if it is a one-day fight or it will continue for a second day."

The National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces, an umbrella group that contains most of the Syrian opposition figures and parties, welcomed the rebel assaults in the capital.

The opposition Local Coordination Committees said 162 were killed Wednesday, five of them women and seven children. Nearly half of the deaths, 77, occurred in Damascus and its suburbs, the opposition group said.

It credited the Free Syrian Army with shooting down a government warplane in Adra.

CNN is not able to confirm the reports. Though a CNN team is in Damascus, government minders restrict its movement.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
Syrian crisis
updated 8:43 AM EDT, Thu June 26, 2014
Jihadists have kidnapped over 140 Kurdish boys to "brainwash" them. But a few boys made a daring escape.
updated 8:48 AM EDT, Thu June 26, 2014
Reports that Syrian warplanes carried out a cross-border attack on Iraqi towns is further evidence of the blurring of the two countries' borders.
updated 5:33 PM EDT, Tue June 24, 2014
CNN's Atika Shubert speaks to a father whose teenage son joined the Jihad movement in Syria.
updated 7:41 AM EDT, Mon June 23, 2014
At the start of Syria's civil unrest, Omar would rally against the government alongside his schoolmates, later taking to the streets in his hometown of Salqin.
updated 5:17 PM EDT, Mon June 23, 2014
Atika Shubert looks at the rise of European jihadists traveling to Syria and whether they soon could join ISIS in Iraq.
updated 10:53 AM EDT, Mon June 23, 2014
The final stockpile of Syria's chemical weapons has been shipped out of the country, according to the OPCW, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
updated 4:25 PM EDT, Wed June 25, 2014
The US isn't doing airstrikes in Iraq. Is there a vacuum for Syria and Iran to step in? CNN's Fareed Zakaria weighs in.
updated 4:04 AM EDT, Tue June 10, 2014
CNN's Nick Paton Walsh reports on Syrian rebels using underground explosions against the better-equipped regime.
updated 7:51 AM EDT, Mon June 9, 2014
CNN's Nick Paton Walsh returns to the besieged rebel areas of Aleppo, a pale skeleton of a city that has had the life bombed out of it.
updated 7:51 AM EDT, Mon June 2, 2014
Syria may be embroiled in a brutal three-year civil war, but that's not stopping the government from holding presidential elections.
updated 7:23 AM EDT, Tue June 3, 2014
CNN's Nick Paton Walsh meets an ISIS defector in hiding and gets a rare look into the group's recruitment process.
updated 12:10 PM EDT, Thu June 5, 2014
Over a thousand Syrian refugees have turned an abandoned shopping mall in Lebanon into makeshift living quarters.
updated 5:19 PM EDT, Wed May 28, 2014
What caught our experts' ears was as much about what he didn't address as much as what he did.
updated 6:19 AM EDT, Tue May 20, 2014
The three-year war in Syria has claimed 162,402 lives, an opposition group said Monday, as the raging conflict shows no signs of abating.
updated 9:41 PM EDT, Fri May 30, 2014
Official: The U.S. believes a jihadi featured in a suicide bombing video in Syria is Moner Mohammad Abu-Salha who grew up in Florida.
updated 10:37 AM EDT, Tue May 20, 2014
For the first time, Britain has convicted someone of a terrorism offense related to the Syrian civil war.
ADVERTISEMENT