Syrian troops backed by armoured vehicles battled opposition forces Monday (July 16th) in Damascus, AFP reported.
Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said Monday's fighting occurred near the historic neighbourhood of al-Midan, where "before, the security forces were deployed to suppress protests".
"Now, we have army troops engaged in combat," Abdul Rahman said.
The Observatory reported "dawn battles on the road south of [the western neighbourhood of] Kfar Sousa between opposition fighters and soldiers who were in a convoy passing through the area."
The Local Co-ordination Committees activist network said the military launched a dawn mortar attack targeting the southern Damascus neighbourhood of Tadamon.
The official Al-Watan newspaper said the army was battling "terrorist groups" and accused the gunmen of seeking to launch "the great Damascus battle".
The fighting in Damascus come as at least five people were killed across the country, the Observatory reported, adding that at least 105 others died Sunday.