Connect to share and comment

Damascus sees fiercest fighting yet, say reports

Syria's capital, Damascus, is seeing the fiercest fighting since the beginning of the uprising, according to reports.

damascus fighting july 15 2012Enlarge
A Syrian man carries a wounded girl next to Red Crescent ambulances following an explosion that targeted a military bus near Qudssaya, a neighborhood of the Syrian capital, on June 8, 2012. (-/AFP/Getty Images)

Syria's capital Damascus saw heavy fighting erupt between rebels and government troops on Sunday, in the "most intense" fighting since the start of the revolt 16 months ago, Agence France Presse reported, citing a monitoring group.

Rami Abdel Rahman, the head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, told AFP, "The regular army fired mortar rounds into several suburbs." He added, "They have never been this intense."

Abdel Rahman said the heaviest fighting was concentrated in the Tadamon, Kfar Sousa, Nahr Aisha and Sidi Qadad neighborhoods, according to AFP.

Reuters also reported that residents in Damascus confirmed that they could hear loud explosions, gunfire and sirens.

More on GlobalPost: Syria denies UN claims of Tremseh massacre

Speaking to Reuters via Skype, activist Samir al-Shami said, "There is the sound of heavy gunfire. And there is smoke rising from the area. There are already some wounded and residents are trying to flee the area."

Activists said an explosion hit a security forces bus in Damascus on Sunday. Reuters noted that fighting had reached the outskirts of the capital recently, especially in the poorer areas where anti-regime anger is at its highest.

More on GlobalPost: Syria: UN observers head for village massacre site

The International Committee of the Red Cross declared the conflict in Syria a civil war on Sunday, clarifying that international humanitarian law will apply throughout the country.

According to MSNBC, the application of humanitarian law grants warring parties the right to use appropriate force, but attacks on civilians and abuse or killing of detainees can be considered war crimes.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/syria/120715/damascus-sees-fiercest-fighting-yet-say-reports