BEIRUT (Reuters) - Clashes inbetween rebels and state forces raged for a third day on Tuesday, in the fiercest fighting to hit 's seat of power since the revolt against President Bashar al-Assad began 17 months ago.
Security forces and armored vehicles surrounded rebellious areas such as the southern district of Midan but have been unable to rout opposition fighters, activists say.
The encroachment of violence into the Syrian capital, Assad's home and government stronghold, comes as United Nations envoy Kofi Annan is visiting Moscow to promote a peace plan for.
He will meet President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday, but Russia still appears resistant to Western calls for Moscow to increase pressure on Assad.
"There are troops everywhere, I can hear ambulances," said a resident near Midan. "It feels like a war in."