BEIRUT - Syrian rebels fired dozens of mortar bombs into central Damascus on Monday, hitting a high-security area within a kilometer (less than a mile) of President Bashar Assad's residence, residents and a security source said.
The military retaliated with artillery fire from Mount Qasioun, overlooking the Syrian capital. "I've heard dozens of regime shells so far, pounding rebels," one resident said.
It was some of the heaviest fighting in the heart of the city since an uprising against Assad erupted two years ago.
The security source, who asked not to be identified, said mortar rounds had landed in Ummayad Square, a major intersection where military headquarters and state television are located.