Syrian state news service says the army has pushed rebels out of a key district on the edge of Damascus, bolstering the defenses of the capital.

SANA says the government troops have "restored security and stability to some vital areas" in Jobar, a district on the northeastern edge of Damascus, from which rebels have been trying to push inside the capital for weeks.

Tuesday's report said President Bashar Assad's troops pushed "terrorists" from positions they have been using to launch guerrilla operations deep inside the capital and fire mortars into its residential area.

Syrian government has denied it is facing a popular uprising since the revolt against Assad's rule erupted in March 2011, saying that the army is fighting foreign-backed terrorists who want to destroy the country.