Syrian government forces have shelled the eastern suburbs of Damascus and clashed with armed rebels there, activists and residents say.
Residents reported hearing heavy gunfire from about 6:00am local time (03:00 GMT) on Monday. They said the capital was shaken by several loud blasts, possibly artillery fire, two hours later.
“Every one of them feels like an earthquake,” a resident in the central district of Adawi told the Reuters news agency, in a telephone call punctuated by two loud explosions.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based anti-government rights group, said that government forces were targeting rural areas around the Zamalka and Ain Terma suburbs on the eastern fringes of Damascus, a rebel stronghold in recent months.