A U.K-based war monitor reported that vicious fighting erupted in the Syrian capital of Damascus Sunday morning, as government forces launched a major counter-offensive against rebels who took positions in the northeastern part of the city.

Army units were able to regain on Sunday, the areas captured by the rebels in their push, a source from the Syrian military told Reuters Monday.

Reuters also reported that warplanes were active in the skies of Damascus early Sunday and streets behind government lines that lead to the embattled area were closed.

Intense battles were still ongoing in the vicinity of the al-Qaboun and Jobar districts in the capital’s northeast, according to sources of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

A commander with rebel group Failaq al-Rahman which was involved in the fighting said Sunday, that after their withdrawal from adjacent Qaboun and Barza, the rebel groups attacked Jobar to relieve the pressure.

Fierce fighting in SyriaThe rebels have been suffering a constant succession of defeats for the past 18 months, as Syrian government forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad, together with their allied Russian, Iranian and Shi’ite militia allies conducted relentless assaults against them.

The large, heavily populated area in the Ghouta District composed of a mixture of towns and farms east of Damascus, in addition to a few neighborhoods in the north, northeast and south of the capital are still in rebel hands.

The latest skirmishes were concentrated in the zones surrounding Barza and Qaboun, which were cut off by the army from the remainder of the major rebel enclave of Eastern Ghouta and the districts in the eastern side of Damascus.