July 15 - President Bashar al-Assad's forces escalate the fight in Damascus as a car burns on the roadside in Deir al Zour. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
Traffic moves by a car in flames along a roadside in Deir al Zour. The car reportedly came under attack by a government sniper -- but the video can not be independently confirmed by Reuters. More footage shows the ongoing shelling in Damascus. A rebel commander said government forces are targeting rebel-held districts in Damascus -- stepping up efforts to drive opposition fighters from the capital and build on battlefield gains elsewhere in the country. In the past two months President Bashar- al Assad has recaptured important regions in central Syria linking Damascus to his Alawite heartland on the coast. His troops now appear focused on eliminating the rebel threat to the capital. Assad's gains, after more than two years of a war that has killed more than 90,000 people, come amid growing signs of rebel infighting that has pitted Islamist fighters against the Western- and Arab-backed Free Syrian Army.