November 20, 2012 - 19:01 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Two mortar rounds struck Syria's Information Ministry building in the capital Damascus on Tuesday, November 20 state television said, causing some damage but no casualties, accoridng to Reuters.
The rebels have been trying to take their 20-month-old revolt to the heart of Damascus, Assad's seat of power, and have gained footholds in its southern outskirts and in many surrounding suburbs. Some fighters said the mortars were fired from the urban rebel stronghold of Daraya, which Assad's forces had been bombarding from the air for days.
Elite Republican Guard troops backed by tanks were trying to storm Daraya but met with fierce resistance from rebels there, who have regrouped after a big army offensive on the area killed an estimated 1,100 people six weeks ago.
Fighters around the capital have focused in recent months on carrying out high-profile rocket and car bomb attacks on government buildings that are often more symbolic than lethal.
Assad's forces appeared to be on the alert for intensified attacks this week, which the opposition has dubbed "March to Damascus Week".
Extra checkpoints have been set up around the capital and security forces have placed new restrictions on the movement of residents in some parts of the capital.
Residents say that many families have been planning to leave their homes, out of fear of military campaigns being prepared on either side.