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Syria - Jan 26, 2012 - 18:32

Last modified: 26 Jan 2012 15:32

Syrian security forces, backed by tanks, have reportedly tried to retake control over numerous suburbs of Damascus, the capital, from the opposition on Thursday.

But they faced fierce armed resistance and clashed with the Free Syrian Army [FSA], an umbrella group mainly comprised of members of the country's security forces who have defected to protect civilians from the government crackdown, in the capital's districts of Douma, Arabeen, Zamalka, Jisreen, and Harasta.

Hussein Makhlouf, the governor of rural Damascus, was quoted by the Reuters news agency as saying that the government will discuss a ceasefire with the opposition-controlled suburbs.

"We have started a dialogue with them, including some armed groups that are controlling positions there," Makhlouf said.