Clashes break out in Syrian capital following rebel ambush

DAMASCUS: Damascus residents say fierce clashes have broken out on the eastern side of the Syrian capital following an ambush by rebel-aligned forces.

Rebels are reported to have detonated two large car bombs at 5:20 a.m. Sunday morning close to the Jobar neighborhood of Damascus. Residents say artillery shells and rockets are landing inside the heart of the city.

Government warplanes responded with a number of raids around the areas of the clashes.

Syrian state media said the military had repelled an attack by an al-Qaida-linked group. It said terrorists had infiltrated the city through tunnels in the middle of the night and reported clashes in the Qaboun and Jobar neighborhoods.

Jobar is one of three pockets in the Syrian capital still in opposition hands. It is besieged by government forces.