BEIRUT — Heavy fighting broke out near Damascus International Airport early Friday, as telephone and Internet lines remained out of service in Syria’s capital and other cities for a second day.
The clashes were concentrated a few kilometers away from the airport, by the villages of Aqraba and Babila, according to activists. Syrian military jets pounded the area with bombs during the fighting.
The Syrian opposition has made significant gains on the battlefield in recent weeks. At the same time, officials in Washington have indicated that the Obama administration is moving toward recognition of a newly formed opposition coalition as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people.
On Thursday, the airport was closed because of the ongoing battles.
Some Syrians expressed fears that the unusual telephone and Web blackout was a prelude to a government operation targeting civilians.