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Syrian rebels' access blocked to key Damascus neighborhood

Syrian regime and opposition forces continue to clash in suburbs around Damascus, where the rebels are working in vain to reinforce the Jobar front.
Rebel fighters demonstrate their skill with their weapons during a military display as part of a graduation ceremony at a camp in eastern al-Ghouta, near Damascus September 4, 2014. The newly graduated rebel fighters, who went through military training, will join the "Al-Habib al-Mustafa" Brigades. REUTERS/Bassam Khabieh (SYRIA - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST CONFLICT) - RTR44WPX
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DAMASCUS, Syria — Since Sept. 17, showers of mortar shells and Katyusha rockets have been falling on Damascus. The calm that has prevailed in the city over the past few months disappeared when rebel fighters began escalating their attack on the eastern Ghouta front. This has led to new fronts opening up in several areas surrounding Damascus.

But little has changed for the people of Damascus since the Ajnad al-Sham Islamic Union announced the Ajnad 2 Operation in eastern Ghouta on Sept. 15. Damascenes have grown accustomed to falling rockets, an addition to the routine of daily traffic jams and crowds on the city’s streets. When a shell falls, only a few panic, and an hour later life returns to normal.

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