Europe

Syrian army retakes Damascus areas captured by rebels

  • FILE - This March 22, 2012 file photo shows general view of Damascus, Syria. Syrian state TV said Monday, March 20, 2017 that government forces have regained control of parts of Damascus that were attacked and captured by rebels and militants the previous day. (AP Photo/Muzaffar Salman, File)

    FILE - This March 22, 2012 file photo shows general view of Damascus, Syria. Syrian state TV said Monday, March 20, 2017 that government forces have regained control of parts of Damascus that were attacked and captured by rebels and militants the previous day. (AP Photo/Muzaffar Salman, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, damaged and blocked street where clashes erupted between the Syrian government forces and rebels, near the Abbassiyin square, east Damascus, Syria, Monday March 20, 2017. Syrian government forces on Monday regained control of parts of Damascus that were attacked and captured by rebels and militants the previous day, with the two-day fighting leaving dozens dead on both sides, the military and an activist group said. (SANA via AP)

    In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, damaged and blocked street where clashes erupted between the Syrian government forces and rebels, near the Abbassiyin square, east Damascus, Syria, Monday March 20, 2017. Syrian government forces on Monday regained control of parts of Damascus that were attacked and captured by rebels and militants the previous day, with the two-day fighting leaving dozens dead on both sides, the military and an activist group said. (SANA via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Map shows areas of control.; 2c x 5 inches; 96.3 mm x 127 mm;

    Map shows areas of control.; 2c x 5 inches; 96.3 mm x 127 mm;  (The Associated Press)

Syrian state TV says government forces have regained control of parts of Damascus that were attacked and captured by rebels and militants the previous day.

The sudden rebel seizure overnight, through underground tunnels, was the insurgents' most serious infiltration in years into the Syrian capital. Syria's al-Qaida affiliate and the independent Failaq al-Rahman faction also participated in the attack.

The TV on Monday quoted an unnamed military official as saying the army "regained control of all the points that terrorists" had infiltrated on Sunday. It also quotes Russia's ambassador to Damascus as saying one of the embassy's buildings was hit with a shell during the clashes.

Sunday's raids reflected a temporary and rare advance by rebels after months of steady losses at the hands of government forces across the country.