Syrian government forces have gained ground in a rebel-held district of Damascus as part of the regime's efforts to push insurgents into accepting an evacuation deal, a monitor said Thursday.
In fighting since Wednesday night, "regime troops have managed to advance in the Qabun district" of eastern Damascus, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
It said they had seized control of a number of apartment blocks and an electricity firm in Qabun, one of six districts of the capital outside government control.
A Syrian army soldier was killed on Thursday, said the Britain-based group.
"This is a new attempt to tighten the net around the rebels to push them to accept an evacuation deal," according to the Observatory's head, Rami Abdel Rahman.
A pro-regime military source on the ground has told AFP that the rebels have refused to be relocated to the northwestern province of Idlib, as in the case of previous evacuations of fighters and their families.
They want to be transferred to the rebel bastion of Eastern Ghouta in Damascus province.
On Monday, in the first such evacuation from a Damascus district, more than 1,000 rebels and family members left Barzeh, with the regime granting them safe passage in exchange for their surrender.