Damascus (ANTARA News/Xinhua-OANA) - A Syrian military source on Monday refuted as "baseless" some media reports about the arrival of Russian warships carrying military staffs by the Syrian shores, according to state-run SANA news agency.

"Those news come in the framework of the lie campaigns against Syria by some opposition sides and the countries that support them in order to cover calls for foreign intervention in the Syrian affairs," the unnamed source was quoted by SANA as saying.

Earlier in the day, the Saudi-based Al Arabiya TV cited opposition sources as saying that Russian special forces have arrived in the Syrian Mediterranean port city of Tartus.

The Syrian port of Tartus hosts a Russian naval base since the times of the Soviet Union.

Violence has surged dramatically over the past 48 hours in Syria since Saturday, taking the battle between armed rebels and government troops to the capital of Damascus and northern Aleppo province which have relatively distanced themselves from the large-scale violence in other cities.

Earlier on Monday, gun battles occurred between armed groups and security forces in al-Mazzeh neighborhood in west Damascus, the first of its kind to take place in an upscale district of the capital.

Sources told Xinhua that security forces were informed that an armed group is hiding in a rented house in al-Mazzeh. The forces evacuated the building and raided the house.

State-run SANA news agency said that at least two terrorists and a security agent were killed in the clashes, adding the security forces evacuated all inhabitants from the building before the operation. SANA said three automatic guns and bombs were seized.

"We couldn`t sleep last night, around 12 a.m. we heard the sound of clashes," a resident of the neighborhood told Xinhua, adding that "the area contains a shopping mall, elders home, an orphanage as well as schools, so it`s not an appropriate area to make nests ... those terrorists have neither conscience nor morals. "

The rare clash in Damascus coincided with the severe clashes in eastern Deir al-Zour province between armed groups and government forces, featuring several explosions, according to the pro- government Sham FM radio.

On Sunday, an "armed terrorist group" detonated a booby-trapped car in Aleppo`s residential neighborhood of al-Sulaymanyia, killing a law-enforcement agent and a women, at the mean time, " armed terrorist group" opened fire at residents in Hassiba village in the suburbs of the central province of Homs, killing 14 civilians including women and children, according to SANA.

On Saturday, two suicide car bombers detonated explosives near the aviation intelligence directorate and the criminal security department in Damascus, killing 29 civilians and security personnel and wounding 140 others. Another car bomb exploded at Yarmouk camp housing thousands of Palestinians in south of the city, SANA said.


Editor: Ella Syafputri
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