From the Telegraph:
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) battled Syrian rebel forces in a Damascus neighbourhood on Monday, bringing the extremists closer than ever to the centre of the capital, a monitoring group said.
Isil militants fought street battles against Islamist rebels in Asali, part of the capital’s southern Qadam district, after seizing two streets there over the weekend, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
“This is the closest Isil has ever been to the heart of Damascus,” Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said. He said Isil had advanced from the adjacent Al-Hajar Al-Aswad neighbourhood, where they have been based since July 2014.
A Syrian military official confirmed the clashes and said he was “very happy that they are fighting”. “But we are ready to react if they try to advance into government-held territory,” the official told AFP.
According to the Observatory, opposition-held Qadam has been relatively quiet since a truce between rebel groups and regime forces there a year ago.
It said fighting in the district on Sunday left 15 fighters dead, but it could not specify how many were from Isil and how many were Islamist rebels.
Mr Rahman said the “fierce street battles” had forced civilians to flee the area. Since its expulsion from the Eastern Ghouta suburb of Damascus last year, Isil has used Al-Hajar Al-Aswad as a base for attacks on the capital.AND THEN THERE'S THIS: