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Tuesday
Jul232013

Syrian Forces Step Up Attacks on Rebels in Damascus

Scott Peterson/Getty Images(DAMASCUS, Syria) -- Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces are attempting to strengthen their position in and around the capital of Damascus with fighter jets and heavy artillery targeting rebel positions throughout the city.

The operation appears to be fueled by gains the Syrian military has made against opposition fighters in the central part of the country.

Last Sunday, British Prime Minister David Cameron said that al-Assad's forces seemed to have rebounded in the two-year-long conflict, and called the action on the ground "a stalemate."  At least 100,000 people have died in the past 28 months from war-related violence.

Meanwhile, the British-based opposition group the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that the rebels have sustained heavy losses since Sunday, with at least 75 fighters killed in the Damascus region.

In the deadliest attack, dozens of rebel fighters were gunned down in an ambush northeast of Damascus.

Despite its recent losses, opposition forces claimed to have captured three villages Monday near the northern city of Aleppo, Syria's largest metropolis.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio