The Syrian army is said to have used helicopters for the first time in Damascus to attack at least one district where rebels have been gaining the upper hand.
One report quoting an activist in the city said the regime’s forces have intensified their bombardments, including in the Midan district where rebels from the Free Syrian Army have been holding out.
According to the source, the army assault destroyed a mosque, injuring several people.
Other Damascus suburbs have been under attack from government forces, say the opposition, and clashes have been reported in the city centre.
The rebels are said to be better equipped and organised than they have been, prompting the regime to deploy its biggest show of force in the capital since the uprising began.
Although it is serious, the fighting in Damascus is not said to pose an immediate threat to the regime’s powerbase.