Syria uses helicopters to battle rebels in capital

BEIRUT (AP) — Intense clashes between Syrian rebels and government forces backed by helicopters spread to new areas of the capital Damascus Tuesday, including a brief firefight near Parliament. It was the third straight day of fighting that has posed an unprecedented challenge to government rule in the seat of President Bashar Assad's power. The violence is the most widespread and sustained fighting in the capital since the Syrian uprising began 16 months ago.