Violent clashes broke out between Syrian troops and armed rebels in Damascus on Sunday, Al Jazaeera reported. Activists said that at least 40 people had been gunned down by Syrian security forces in cities throughout the country, with most casualties occurring in Idlib.

Activists said that battles between government troops and the Free Syria Army, which is opposed to the rule of Syrian President Bashar Assad, erupted in the Rukn Al-Din area in central Damascus. Gunshots were heard throughout the city, according to witnesses.

Syrian troops upped an offensive on the rebel stronghold in northwestern Idlib on Sautrday, in clashes that killed at least 16 rebel fighters, seven soldiers and four civilians.

Please LIKE our Facebook page - it makes us stronger