Rebels launch fresh offensive ahead of Syria peace talks

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Syrian President Bashar al-Assad speaks during an interview in Demascus.

The surprise rebel incursion, in which fighters sneaked into the city through hidden tunnels and set off auto bombs, was the most serious infiltration in years into President Bashar Assad's seat of power.

The campaign brought together a number of rival factions, including the Levant Liberation Committee, two ultraconservative factions - Ahrar al-Sham and the Islam Army - and the Free Syrian Army-affiliated Failaq al-Rahman.

Insurgent groups have repeatedly tried to break the defenses of Damascus in recent years.

The Syrian army battled a second surprise rebel offensive near Damascus Tuesday as the beleaguered opposition attempted another strike into the Syrian capital in the seventh year of the nation's bloody civil war.

Rebels and government forces agreed to a nationwide cessation of hostilities in December, but fighting has continued across much of the country, including in the capital.

The source said that the situation in Jobar region has now normalized.

A military source stressed that the army units continue hitting the terrorist groups in the surroundings of Maamel al-Ghazl (spinning factories), north of Jobar on the eastern outskirts of Damascus city.

Syrian state media confirmed the rebels had re-entered parts of Damascus, but said the army was bombing their positions and was repelling the attack.

The YPG makes up the bulk of the Syrian Democratic Forces, a US-backed alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters that has seized swathes of territory from the Islamic State group.

On Tuesday morning, terrorists detonated a auto bomb, launching an incursion from the edges of Damascus and succeeded in infiltrating al-Maamel area in its eastern outskirts, aiming to push offensive further into the al-Qaboun neighborhood, RT Arabic reported.

The clashes killed at least 26 members of the regime forces and 21 rebels and jihadists, Abdel Rahman said.

The Observatory said fighting was still underway Monday.

For rebels, the assault shows they are still able to wage offensive action, although their situation remains hard near the capital and across Syria as a whole.

"The creation of a constitutional committee in parliament is a revolution".

The terrorists holding up in al-Qaboun launched attacks on Al-Abissin residential area, shelling it and firing sniper bullets towards the area, Syria's state SANA news agency reported, noting that the Syrian army responded with artillery fire.

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