Rebels’ surprise attack rocks Syria’s capital Damascus

Published: 04:51 GMT, Mar 20, 2017 |

Syrian rebel groups launched a surprise attack on government forces on the eastern outskirts of Damascus on Sunday, according to opposition groups, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and Syrian state media.

Clashes broke out in the Syrian capital, which has not seen such attacks in months, if not years, said SOHR Director Rami Abdel Rahman.

Heavy clashes rocked eastern districts of the Syrian capital on Sunday after rebel fighters launched a surprise assault on government forces, a monitor and state television said.

Steady shelling and sniper fire could be heard across Damascus on Sunday as rebel factions allied with former Al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat Fateh al-Sham launched an attack on government positions in the city’s east.

The clashes centered on a government-held gap between two besieged opposition enclaves, the Jobar and Qaboun neighborhoods. The ultraconservative Ahrar al-Sham rebel faction said fighters had “liberated” the area.