Clashes have broken out in Damascus, with Alawite regime forces firing mortar rounds on freedom fighters' positions in the heaviest fighting in the nation's capital this month.
Assad's forces fired mortar rounds from the Qasioun mountain overlooking Damascus.
The southern suburbs echoed with the sound of gun battles between the Alawite army and freedom fighters who have been struggling to topple dictator Assad for more than 17 months.
The bombardment and fighting are concentrated on southern districts of Damascus, where freedom fighters have been able to slip in from liberated suburbs.
Assad's forces stormed the southeastern district of Kafr Souseh early on Thursday and were making arrests.
Hundreds of residents have been displaced due to fighting in Damascus, and many have taken shelter in mosques and schools in calmer areas.
But some of those displaced are being asked to leave their places of refuge. Assad's regime warned people staying in schools they have to evacuate within a few days, they are saying it is because they have to prepare for the coming school year.
Thousands of displacees are worried because they have a lack of alternatives for a place to stay."
At least 40 people were killed by Assad on Wednesday in the shelling, which was accompanied by attacks from Russian helicopters, and in ensuing ground raids on the Kfar Souseh, Daraya, Qadam and Nahr Aisha neighborhoods.
In towns across Syria, the suffering of war does not end with the shelling, as food and medicine shortages get worse.
170,000 refugees are registered, but many more are not. A school near the outskirts of Aleppo has become home to more than 500 people who have fled the fighting.