Rebels fighting for Damascus suburbs kill 20

A Syrian rebel faction says it has killed 20 army soldiers in a tunnel blast as the battle for Damascus’s northeastern suburbs shows no signs of letting up.

Wael Olwan, spokesman for the Failaq al-Rahman faction, says the operation took place before dawn Sunday.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group says 16 soldiers are reported missing because of the blast.

A Russian mediated ceasefire announced last month has failed to quell the fighting between the government and rebels on the northeastern edges of Damascus. The Failaq al-Rahman opposition faction says it is not party to the agreement, and the government says it is fighting terrorists.

The government has leaned on its air force and its ground-to-ground missile systems to push rebels out and away from the capital. Several neighborhoods and towns have been destroyed. The opposition does not have an air force

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