Syrian warplanes have carried out several air raids on rebel-held areas in and around Damascus, while fresh clashes between troops and rebels have erupted in the eastern and southern suburbs of the capital, an activist group has revealed.
The government also used fighter jets to bombard the rebel-held towns of Yabroud, Douma and Harasta, east of Damascus, as well as Sbeineh, southwest of the capital, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said on Monday.
“At least one civilian was killed in an air strike on Qaboon” in northeast Damascus, SOHR said, “while regime troops pounded the district of Jobar” in the east.
Meanwhile, “fierce clashes raged on the edges of Jobar [in eastern Damascus], near Abbasiyeen Square”, according to SOHR, which relies on a broad network of activists, doctors and lawyers for its reports.
Rebels view the square as a strategic target because it lies well within the confines of Damascus, President Bashar al-Assad government’s main bastion of power.
SOHR also reported the army’s use of heavy artillery fire on Yarmuk in southern Damascus, with tanks also striking other rebel enclaves nearby.
Elsewhere in Syria, jet fighters hit targets in the northeastern city of Raqqa as well as an area near the government-held Base 17 in the eponymous province.
Raqqa’s provincial capital fell into rebel hands in early March, and fighters have since been fighting to gain control of Base 17, one of the army’s few remaining bastions in the province.
In coastal Syria, “the army launched a massive operation … in the north of Latakia province”, near the Turkish border, attacking rebel-held villages, the pro-government Al-Watan newspaper said.
According to a preliminary toll for Monday, at least 22 people were killed in violence across Syria, SOHR said.