Rebels Struggling To Hold Their Positions Near Damascus

Syrian government forces continue their advance


(Reuters)—Syrian rebels besieged in the outskirts of Damascus say they are facing a slow but steady advance by President Bashar al-Assad's forces, and are pinning their hopes on an anticipated influx of weapons from the Jordanian border.

Opposition fighters once threatened Assad's dominance of Damascus but are now struggling to repel his forces, who have been emboldened by winning a strategic border town further north and have help from Lebanese Hezbollah militants and Shi'ite Iraqi fighters.

"The regime's goal is to slowly bleed us until we are forced to surrender. They are advancing slowly to preserve their fighting force," said Amran, an activist speaking by Skype from the ring of suburbs known as the Eastern Ghouta.