Government troops launched assaults on several rebel areas in the north of Damascus on Friday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, adding that fighting on an “unprecedented scale” took place in Aleppo.
Syrian forces reportedly executed 25 people in public in the al-Rashideen neighborhood in Aleppo, the Local Coordination Committees activist group said on Friday as fighting in other areas continued.
“Regime forces stormed the neighborhoods of Barzeh, Jubar and Qaboon in Damascus, cutting off streets and breaking into and raiding houses. They arrested a large number of residents,” the Britain-based watchdog said, according to AFP news agency.
“Homes and businesses have been destroyed and vandalized,” said the Syrian Revolution General Commission, a network of activists on the ground.
“The security forces and army have closed off Qaboon with a large presence and raids are underway,” the SRGC added.
The regime has claimed multiple times to have “cleansed” these areas from “terrorists,” its blanket term for rebels, but clashes have continued nevertheless between the army and rebels.
The Local Coordination Committees, another activist network, said that in Barzeh “a large number of soldiers and tanks have deployed throughout. The sound of gunfire can be heard and families in the neighborhood are in panic.”
At least 38 people have been killed across Syria by security force gunfire on Friday, the Syrian Revolution General Commission reported, as cited by Al Arabiya.
Meanwhile in Aleppo, fighting on an “unprecedented” scale on Friday shook the city, where rebels have declared a decisive battle, residents and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.
“The fighting is unprecedented and has not stopped since Thursday. The clashes used to be limited to one or two blocks of a district, but now the fighting is on several fronts,” said Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman.
Residents of districts previously spared the worst of the fighting in the northern city also told AFP that the violence was “unprecedented.”