In this Sunday, Sept. 29, 2013 photo, a Syrian opposition fighter takes cover during exchange of fire with government forces in Telata village, a frontline located at the top of a mountain in the Idlib province, northwest countryside of Syria. (AP Photo)
BEIRUT (AP) — Activists say heavy clashes between Syrian troops and al-Qaida-linked fighters in northern Damascus have killed at least 12 soldiers and pro-government militiamen.
The fighting comes as international weapons inspectors are in Damascus to begin their complex task of overseeing the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons against the backdrop of the civil war.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Wednesday that the 12 died the day before in the city's Barzeh district.
Clashes in Barzeh flared up on Monday when the army launched a push to dislodge the rebels, including al-Qaida-linked Jabhat al-Nusra fighters, from the district.
The Observatory says the opposition has been trying to capture the area for months in an attempt to take the battle for the capital closer to President Bashar Assad's seat of power.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
To comment, the following rules must be followed:
Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content, but the station is under no legal obligation to do so.
If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator.
Flagging does not guarantee removal.
Multiple violations may result in account suspension.
Decisions to suspend or unsuspend accounts are made by Station Moderators.
Questions may be sent to email@example.com. Please provide detailed information.