Syria activists reported a military offensive by regime forces against rebel strongholds in northern and eastern Damascus.
“The district of Qaboon in (northeastern) Damascus is being intensely shelled by regime forces,” the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said according to AFP.
Rebels were battling troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad on the edges of Qaboon as the army tried to storm the neighborhood, the Britain-based group said.
Three children from one family were killed overnight by mortar fires targeting Qaboon, the observatory said.
Activists from Qaboun posted on Facebook that government forces deployed additional tanks outside the neighborhood, and the bombardment had brought buildings down, The Associated Press reported.
Meanwhile, clashes intensified between rebels, troops and pro-Assad militiamen in the Barzeh neighborhood of the capital, said the watchdog.
The fighting erupted as rebels fought off an army attempt to enter the district, said the Syrian Revolution General Commission, a network of activists on the ground.
The heavy shelling on many fronts appears to be an attempt to cut links between districts under rebel control, AP said.
Also on Saturday, the military pushed on with its bid to end the insurgency in and around Homs in central Syria, said the Observatory.
While troops shelled rebel-held besieged districts in the heart of Homs city, Assad loyalists also tried to storm the town of Tal Kalakh near the border with Lebanon.
Referred to by activists as “the capital of the revolution”, Homs has suffered massive damage during Syria's 27-month conflict.