Damascus is witnessing its most serious fighting since the uprising began 16 months ago. But it’s still hard to tell whether this means the battle for control of the capital has begun in earnest.
In recent weeks, the government has again been focusing on clearing rebel fighters from the defiant outlying suburbs, so some of the dissidents have been moving closer towards the city centre.
So this could end up being another such clearing operation. Certainly the main bastions of power have yet to come under direct assault.
But the street battles that began on Sunday in Tadhamon and spread to Midan and elsewhere, have given many of the capital’s residents their first real taste of what much of the rest of the country has been going through for months.
There are two views on the fight which has been underway in Damascus
- This is rebel’s (FSA’s) planned, concerted attacks on Damascus - or
- This is regime’s clean up operation’s last stage - now happening in Damascus