BEIRUT - Fighting erupted on Sunday between Syrian troops and rebels around a train station in Damascus, as Syrian warplanes pounded insurgent positions to the east of the capital, a watchdog said.
The clashes broke out in the Port Said area and spread to the nearby Qadam train terminal, while the army shelled the Qadam district itself and neighbouring Assali, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.
The firefight led to the closure of a key highway that passes through the area and connects Damascus to the southern province of Daraa, the watchdog said.
On the outskirts of Damascus, warplanes launched strikes on the Eastern Ghuta region, focused on the town of Shebaa where clashes have raged in recent weeks between the army and insurgents, it said. Further northeast of the capital, rebels and troops battled around a military vehicle depot located between the opposition strongholds of Irbin and Harasta, the Britain-based Observatory said.
The Syrian Revolution General Council, meanwhile, reported that “heavy artillery and tank shelling hit Daraya from Mazzeh military airport and the Fourth Division headquarters on Moadamiyet mountain as fierce explosions shook the town”.
The Observatory said that new army reinforcements had arrived to Daraya, southwest of Damascus, and were shelling the beleaguered rebel bastion, where troops have waged a fierce assault for the past two months in a bid to regain control.