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Fighting near Damascus after rebel attack

iStock/Thinkstock(DAMASCUS, Syria) — War is intesifying near the Syrian capital of Damascus, as Syrian security forces are engaged in fierce clashes with rebels on the easern outskirks of the capital city.

Security forces say a surprise attack by the rebels had artilley shells and rockets landing inside the heart of the city, and they responded with airstrikes.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the rebels had initiated the attack to relieve pressure on fighters under attack from government forces in the districts of Barzeh, Tishreen and Qabun.

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