Fighting intensifies in Damascus
February 7, 2013 -- Updated 1151 GMT (1951 HKT)
- Opposition groups say they have launched an offensive to take capital
- The government news agency denies the claim
- "It is very scary today," says an opposition member in Damascus
Damascus, Syria (CNN) -- Fighting Wednesday here was among the most intense to date in the nearly two years of upheaval, some residents said.
In the southern suburbs of the capital, smoke rose from buildings that had been targeted by heavy ordnance.
Warplanes flew above the area, which was also targeted by barrages of artillery shelling, machine gun and small-arms fire.
The attacks came as some opposition groups said they had launched an offensive to take the Syrian capital, a claim denied by the official news agency.
In this photo provided by the anti-government activist group Aleppo Media Center, Syrian men help survivors out of a building in Aleppo after it was bombed, allegedly by a Syrian regime warplane on Saturday, February 8. The United Nations estimates more than 100,000 people have been killed since the Syrian conflict began in March 2011. Click through to see the most compelling images taken during the conflict, which is now a civil war:
Syrian civil war in photos
Rebels look to push into Damascus
Photographer: World has failed Syria
The Syrian Arab News Agency said that government military forces were conducting operations against armed "terrorist" groups in Damascus.
Lena Al-Shami, a member of the opposition group Media Office of Damascus, told CNN that clashes were taking place throughout much of the capital.
"It was very scary today, we can hear heavy clashes and shelling," she said. "I have people calling me and asking me if they should stay at home tomorrow; the problem is that we don't know if it is a one-day fight or it will continue for a second day."
The National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces, an umbrella group that contains most of the Syrian opposition figures and parties, welcomed the rebel assaults in the capital.
The opposition Local Coordination Committees said 162 were killed Wednesday, five of them women and seven children. Nearly half of the deaths, 77, occurred in Damascus and its suburbs, the opposition group said.
It credited the Free Syrian Army with shooting down a government warplane in Adra.
CNN is not able to confirm the reports. Though a CNN team is in Damascus, government minders restrict its movement.
Part of complete coverage on
June 26, 2014 -- Updated 1243 GMT (2043 HKT)
Jihadists have kidnapped over 140 Kurdish boys to "brainwash" them. But a few boys made a daring escape.
June 26, 2014 -- Updated 1248 GMT (2048 HKT)
Reports that Syrian warplanes carried out a cross-border attack on Iraqi towns is further evidence of the blurring of the two countries' borders.
June 24, 2014 -- Updated 2133 GMT (0533 HKT)
CNN's Atika Shubert speaks to a father whose teenage son joined the Jihad movement in Syria.
June 23, 2014 -- Updated 1141 GMT (1941 HKT)
At the start of Syria's civil unrest, Omar would rally against the government alongside his schoolmates, later taking to the streets in his hometown of Salqin.
June 23, 2014 -- Updated 2117 GMT (0517 HKT)
Atika Shubert looks at the rise of European jihadists traveling to Syria and whether they soon could join ISIS in Iraq.
June 23, 2014 -- Updated 1453 GMT (2253 HKT)
The final stockpile of Syria's chemical weapons has been shipped out of the country, according to the OPCW, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
June 25, 2014 -- Updated 2025 GMT (0425 HKT)
The US isn't doing airstrikes in Iraq. Is there a vacuum for Syria and Iran to step in? CNN's Fareed Zakaria weighs in.
June 10, 2014 -- Updated 0804 GMT (1604 HKT)
CNN's Nick Paton Walsh reports on Syrian rebels using underground explosions against the better-equipped regime.
June 9, 2014 -- Updated 1151 GMT (1951 HKT)
CNN's Nick Paton Walsh returns to the besieged rebel areas of Aleppo, a pale skeleton of a city that has had the life bombed out of it.
June 2, 2014 -- Updated 1151 GMT (1951 HKT)
Syria may be embroiled in a brutal three-year civil war, but that's not stopping the government from holding presidential elections.
June 3, 2014 -- Updated 1123 GMT (1923 HKT)
CNN's Nick Paton Walsh meets an ISIS defector in hiding and gets a rare look into the group's recruitment process.
June 5, 2014 -- Updated 1610 GMT (0010 HKT)
Over a thousand Syrian refugees have turned an abandoned shopping mall in Lebanon into makeshift living quarters.
May 28, 2014 -- Updated 2119 GMT (0519 HKT)
What caught our experts' ears was as much about what he didn't address as much as what he did.
May 20, 2014 -- Updated 1019 GMT (1819 HKT)
The three-year war in Syria has claimed 162,402 lives, an opposition group said Monday, as the raging conflict shows no signs of abating.
May 31, 2014 -- Updated 0141 GMT (0941 HKT)
Official: The U.S. believes a jihadi featured in a suicide bombing video in Syria is Moner Mohammad Abu-Salha who grew up in Florida.
May 20, 2014 -- Updated 1437 GMT (2237 HKT)
For the first time, Britain has convicted someone of a terrorism offense related to the Syrian civil war.
Today's five most popular stories