August 2012: The battle for Damascus


Despite the military cordon that now surrounds Damascus, France 24 reporters Matthieu Mabin and Sofia Amara managed to enter the city. In an exclusive video, they report on the rebel fighters’ struggle to overthrow the Assad regime.

Map image: Fr24

Barzeh & Roukneddine

The 18 July rebel attack on Damascus security forces rocked the heart of the Bashar al-Assad regime, triggering violent fighting between regime troops and militants in several districts across the capital. Barzeh (a largely Kurdish area in the north of the capital) and neighbouring Roukneddine came under attack by Assad forces on July 22. After two days of deadly fighting, officials said they had regained control of the areas. But sporadic clashes continue to be reported in the two neighbourhoods.


Jobar was one of the districts targeted in the regime’s crackdown on the capital. An assault began here on July 20, and after a few days officials said they had taken control. But like most other areas, regular clashes are still reported. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), violent clashes took place on August 4.


A rebel stronghold since the beginning of the uprising, Kabun is one of the worst affected areas for fighting. The regime staged a helicopter attack on the area on July 16, and claimed to have full control by July 24.

National Security Bureau

An unprecedented rebel attack targeting the national security agency on July 18 saw four high-ranking officials killed, proving a huge shock to the regime.

Sabeh Bahrat square

For the first time since the beginning of the uprising, clashes broke out on this major roundabout in the heart of the capital on July 17.

Kfar Sousa

Clashes here broke out in mid July and on July 22 regime forces staged a heavy offensive. Again, the regime says it is in control of the area, but sporadic fighting is still being reported.

Nahr Aiche & Daf al-Choke

Fighting broke out in these southern districts, beside the well-known market neighbourhood of Midan, on July 15. Regime forces stormed the area on July 23. A few days later, they claimed to have regained control.


One of the districts where clashes have been the most violent. Armed tanks were deployed here on July 16. After five days of intense fighting, the regime claimed to have control. The previously bustling neighbourhood is now deserted of its residents.

Qadam & A’asali

Heavy shelling on July 21 saw rebel forces retreat from these districts, the SOHR reported.


Another rebel stronghold. Regime forces attacked the district on 15 July but were unable to gain control. Bombings continued until August 4, when Bashar al-Assad announced that the capital had been “purged of terrorists”.

Umayyad square

Rebels attacked the state broadcasting building on August 6, causing extensive damage but failing to close down the regime mouthpiece.


Rebel fighters sprang up around this wealthy neighbourhood after July 18. Regime forces claimed to have regained control after violent clashes on July 24.

Yarmouk camp

This Palestinian refugee camp next to Tadamon has found itself surrounded by rebels. On August 2, 21 civilians were killed here by regime shelling.

Hajar al-Aswad

The Syrian army bombed the district on July 21. Other battles were also reported here before the Assad regime announced on August 4 that it had regained control of the capital.



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