Fighting raged in Syria's second city Aleppo on Monday (September 17th), with the army claiming to have secured much of a strategic district, AFP reported.
The district of Midan is under the control of the army, AFP reported, citing military officials and witnesses.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said four opposition fighters were killed in fighting across the northern city, which has been the scene of battles since July 20th.
The Britain-based Observatory also reported that the army shelled the pro-opposition district of Al-Hajar Al-Aswad in Damascus in preparation for storming it.
"According to initial reports, one person has been killed there, and several have been injured," it said.
Shelling was also reported in several districts of the central city of Homs, which the army had claimed to have under its control.
In the north-western province of Idlib, pro-regime gunmen killed three members of the same family in the town of Tamanaa, said the watchdog.
At least 54 people died nationwide on Monday, most of them civilians, and 148 were killed the previous day, the Observatory said.
The death toll from the 18-month conflict has risen to more than 27,000, says the Observatory, while the United Nations puts the figure at 20,000.