Syrian capital hit by clashes

  • Violence has escalated across the Syrian capital Damascus, leading the military to deploy tanks and helicopters.

    Shooting has been reported in one of the city’s main streets and a square housing the Central Bank.

    Rebel forces say they have launched a full-scale assault on the capital, calling it Operation Damascus Volcano.

    Meanwhile, joint United Nations and Arab League envoy Kofi Annan has also held talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow over the crisis.

    Following the meeting, Putin told reporters that Russia still backed Annan’s six-point peace plan, which calls for a ceasefire and talks between the government and opposition.

    However, Russia and China have repeatedly refused to back any measures that hint at an intervention or ask President Bashar al-Assad to step down.