DAMASCUS, Aug. 27 (Xinhua) -- Raging clashes continued on Monday in several Syrian areas, most notably in the two key cities of Damascus and Aleppo, while rebel fighters claimed to have shot down a helicopter in Damascus' countryside.
Syrian state media said the Syrian troops have purged a district in northern Aleppo province of armed insurgent groups and hammered those groups in other areas.
Syrian troops purged Monday al-Izza'a street in Aleppo, the state-run SANA news agency said, adding that many gunmen were killed in Aleppo.
The Aleppo clashes also coincided with other military showdown in the capital Damascus, as its residents woke up to the sounds of blasts, gunshots and shelling.
SANA said a helicopter gunship was downed at the Damascus district of Qaboun, disclosing no further information. While the opposition activists said the rebels shot downed the gunship which was strafing the area, showing the photo of the rebel fighter that allegedly downed the helicopter.
The pro-government media, however, said that the crewmen are all safe and in good condition.
The Damascus clashes took place Monday in Jobar, Ain Tarma, al- Wadi, and surrounding areas in the southern and eastern parts of Damascus.
Meanwhile, the oppositional Local Coordination Committees said 34 people have so far been killed nationwide.
Syrian activists said August is the bloodiest month in Syria since the outbreak of protests in the country in mid-March 2011, citing the death toll of at least 4,000 and the discovery of 200 unidentified bodies, according to their unconfirmed reports.
They claimed that 440 people were killed on Saturday alone across Syria, 300 of whom allegedly died in mass killings in the Damascus suburb of Daraya.
The state media said the massacre in Daraya was committed by " armed terrorist groups" while the opposition activists blamed it on the government forces.
The area has seen severe clashes over the past few days that ended with the rebels' withdrawal after the large-scale army operation.
The intensifying of violence in the capital came one day after Syrian President Bashar al-Assad pledged not to allow "foreign- backed scheme to achieve its goal in Syria whatever the cost might be."
Also, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said Sunday that there would be no dialogue with the Syrian opposition until the end of the cleansing operations in restive areas.
The Syrian authorities brand the armed rebels "terrorists" lately, particularly after Jihadists- and al-Qaida-like groups started operating in Syria and waged attacks against the government troops.
DAMASCUS, Aug. 27 (Xinhua) -- Shelling and gunfire reverberate across Damascus on Monday in renewed clashes in the Syrian capital between government troops and opposition fighters, who claimed to have shot down a helicopter gunship in a restive district. Full story