Heavy fighting erupted in northeastern Damascus over the weekend, as rebels launched a surprise attack against the Jobar District, using car bombs and suicide attacks against security forces in the area, and also firing artillery shells deeper toward the capital’s center.
Though rebels still have some presence in the suburbs around Damascus, the military has long been driving them back into a declining amount of territory, and it is very unusual for rebels to be carrying out any attacks within the capita itself like this.
The offensive was reported to include jihadist fighters from several factions, along with part of the Free Syrian Army. The Syrian Army reported that there were tunnels used by the rebels in getting into the district in such numbers before they were noticed.
When the fighting erupted, the army sent troops and tanks into the Jobar District, and also launched at least 30 airstrikes in the area. The military reported by day’s end that they had “repelled” the rebel attack, but it is not totally clear that the fighting has totally ended.