Syria's Alawite officials via their news agency has accused Qatar of manufacturing models of Syrian cities, in order to create fake videos and mislead public opinion about what is happening in the country.
Sana, the agency loyal to dictator Assad's regime, reports that a security company in Qatar has started making facsimiles of official buildings and squares in Damascus, Aleppo and Latakia.
"The company started gathering people to make them wear special customs [sic] to represent military personnel and photographers, as if from the Syrian TV channels. [They also] prepared public, private and military cars with fake Syrian registration plates to film fake videos and fabricated photos about the situation in Syria," Sana quoted an unnamed source as saying.
Meanwhile, Alawite troops commanded by the brother of bloody dictator Bashar al-Assad and backed by helicopter gunships have driven rebel fighters out of a district of Damascus a week after the insurgents launched a major assault on the capital.
Members of the Alawite army's Fourth Division under the command of Maher al-Assad executed several young men on the weekend during the operation to regain control of the northern Damascus district of Barzeh, a witness and activists said.
Alawite forces have launched a determined fightback since rebels brought their battle to overthrow Assad to the capital and killed four of the president's closest associates in a bomb attack on a meeting of senior security officials last Wednesday.
Activists told Al Jazeera that the military was sending reinforcements into the Syrian capital. The Alawites have set up new checkpoints on one of the main roads into the city, they said.
In a further escalation of a conflict rapidly becoming a civil war, fighting raged around the intelligence headquarters in Syria's biggest city, Aleppo, and in Deir Az Zor in the east.
Jad Al Halabi, an activist in Syria's largest city Aleppo, said fighting in that city is the worst to date.
"I travelled to Salahedin neighbourhood. I was shocked to see the revolution flags everywhere, in the streets, on buildings, at the balconies. I also saw a large number of Free Syrian Army members," he said by phone.
Alawite forces regained control of one of two border crossings seized by rebels on the frontier with Iraq, Iraqi puppet officials said, but rebels said they had captured a third border crossing with Turkey: Bab al-Salam, north of Aleppo.
"Seizing the border crossings does not have strategic importance but it has a psychological impact because it demoralizes Assad's force", a senior Syrian army defector in Turkey, Staff Brigadier Faiz Amr, told the Reuters news agency by phone.
"It's a show of progress for the revolutionaries, despite the superior firepower of Assad's troops".
Rebels also seized an army infantry school in the town of Musalmiyeh, 16km north of Aleppo, and captured several regime officers, while others defected, a senior military defector in Turkey and rebel sources inside Syria said.
"This is of big strategic and symbolic importance. The school has ammunition depots and armoured formations and it protects the northern gate to Aleppo", Brigadier General Mustafa al-Sheikh said by phone from the town of Apayden on the Turkish border.
The bombardments in Damascus and Deir Az Zor were some of the fiercest yet and showed Assad's determination to avenge the bomb attack, the most spectacular blow in a 16-month-old uprising against four decades of rule by the Assad family.
Rebels were driven from Mezzeh, the diplomatic district of Damascus, residents and opposition activists said, and more than 1,000 Alawite troops and allied militiamen poured into the area, backed by armored vehicles, tanks and bulldozers.
Three people were killed and 50 others, mostly civilians, were wounded in the early morning bombardment, said Thabet, a Mezzeh resident. "The district is besieged and the wounded are without medical care," he said.
"I saw men stripped to their underwear. Three buses took detainees from al-Farouk, including women and whole families. Several houses have been set on fire."
Opposition and rebel sources say the guerrilla fighters in the capital may lack the supply lines to remain there for long and may have to make tactical withdrawals.
Meanwhile, earlier Thursday, "Israeli" radio station Kol Yisrael informed that the Syrian rebels are at the entrance to the palace of Bashar al-Assad fighting with units loyal to Assad.
The Western media outlets with reference to diplomatic sources reported that Bashar Assad left Damascus and is currently in the Mediterranean resort city of Latakia.
The Guardian suggested that Assad could suffer as a result of a bomb attack in the HQ of the National Security Service. The newspaper also reported that the wife of Alawite ringleader Bashar al-Assad, Asma, is perhaps, left Syria and went to Russia.