People walk along a street in Atareb after clashes between Syrian soldiers and armed rebels near Aleppo on July 19, 2012.
Government soldiers have clashed with gunmen in the north of Syria’s largest city of Aleppo amid an all-out offensive against armed gangs in various cities across the country.
The fighting took place in Ghantan al-jabal on Sunday, while Syrian forces also stormed the Barzeh neighborhood of Damascus, searching for armed rebels.
Reports say clashes started on Saturday in a number of areas in northern Aleppo, mainly the Salahuddien square. On Sunday, confrontations also continued in more areas.
Fierce clashes between government forces and the rebels are being reported in areas of the central Homs province and eastern Deir al-Zour.
Meanwhile, in Damascus, intense fighting is currently underway between the government soldiers and armed groups in the al-Razi orchards area in the district of Mazzeh. Gunfire and shelling have been ringing out in the capital since Saturday night.
Also on Saturday, government forces regained control of Damascus’ Sayyida Zainab district on Saturday after armed rebels, who had come under attack in various parts of city, fled to nearby areas.
The Syrian Army has retaken control of several neighborhoods in the capital, including Tadamon, Qaboon, and Midan.
The major offensive against the armed groups comes a few days after a terrorist bomb blast left Defense Minister Dawood Rajha and several other high-ranking officials dead.
Syria has been the scene of violence by armed groups since March 2011. The violence has claimed the lives of hundreds of people, including many security forces.
Damascus blames “outlaws, saboteurs, and armed terrorist groups” for the unrest, asserting that it is being orchestrated from abroad.