Syria's rebels were Friday fighting to capture the Damascus airport following days of hit-and-run attacks in its vicinity, activists said, dpa reported.
The attack, which led some airlines to suspend flights to and from Syria, is the latest sign that the rebels are becoming more organized and better armed.
Phone lines and the internet have been cut off since Thursday, a disruption the government has blamed on the rebels.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said rebels had destroyed several military vehicles in areas near the airport.
Syrian state-run television said government forces had secured the main road to the airport, which is located 27 kilometers from Damascus. The road to the airport passes through the rebel-held Eastern Ghouta area.
International envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi said Thursday that divisions at the UN Security Council were blocking progress toward ending Syria's 21-month conflict.
World powers remain split on how to stop Syria's crisis. The United States and many Arab and European countries have called on President Bashar al-Assad to step down and have sought tough sanctions. Russia, China and Iran oppose this.