Connect to share and comment
Helicopter gunships and heavy gunfire seen in Damascus.
Syrian activists said armed helicopters attacked the capital today, marking a new elevation in the over year-long conflict, according to the Associated Press.
Clashes between government forces and rebels have increased dramatically since unrest began there well over a year ago, sparking a conflict that has left over 10,000 people dead.
But activists told AP today things are near breaking point with the embattled Syrian regime, referring to the situation in the capital as the "Damascus Volcano."
A proclamation made by the Free Syrian Army claimed that the battle to "liberate" Syria had begun, according to Agence France Presse.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 19 people were killed as tanks and helicopters were deployed.
The FSA's spokesman, Colonel Kassem Saadeddine, stated that "victory is nigh." He added, "We have transferred the battle from Damascus province to the capital. We have a clear plan to control the whole of Damascus. We only have light weapons, but it's enough," according to AFP.
More from GlobalPost: Syria: Ex-official tells the BBC that Assad using chemical warfare a possibility
Syrian rebels told Reuters that they shot down an army helicopter near the Damascus neighborhood of Qaboun today, a senior rebel explaining it was "easy to target them using anti-aircraft weapons" because the helicopters were flying at low altitude.
A short amateur video posted today showed a government helicopter hovering over the same neighborhood, and an unidentified speaker describing Qaboun's "aerial bombardment," said AP. The video could not be independently confirmed.
Heavy fighting was also reported today in Aleppo, Rastan and Talbiseh, according to AP.
The helicopter video in question can be seen below: