Intense fighting between Syrian government forces and rebels reportedly broke out in Damascus on Tuesday.

Activists told reporters that Syria's elite Republican Guard responded to an attack by the Free Syrian Army on a military barrack by shelling the Damascus suburb of Qudssay, which has a large opposition presence. As many as 33 people have been killed so far, The New York Times reported. The official SANA news agency said government forces killed tens of armed terrorists.

The Free Syrian Army said its Monday night attack on the base, which is next to the presidential palace, was just a test for when the battle does move to Damascus.