Residents react and gesture to the sky, during what activists said were seven air-strikes by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, in Duma in Eastern Al-Ghouta
The rocket attack was in revenge for airstrikes by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in Eastern Al-Ghouta, a rebel stronghold in Damacus Reuters

A Syrian rebel Islamist group has launched a rocket attack on residential areas of Damascus leaving at least eight people wounded, according to local reports.

Rockets and shells fired by, Jaysh al-Islam or Islam army, landed in the centre of the Syrian capital.

Witnesses said that more than 40 bombardments struck Damascus in quick succession, with projectiles reaching at least five areas of the capital, including the historic old city.

Schools were in lockdown because of the strikes and civilians were forced to take shelter from the attack.

The attack was announced on Twitter by Mohammed bin Abdullah Zahran Aloush, general commander of Jaysh al-Islam, a merger of rebel groups operating in Damascus and eastern Ghouta which rejected membership of the West-backed Free Syrian Army.

He said that "hundreds of rockets pounded Assad's shabiha [feared pro-government militia] in Damascus" in revenge for the Syrian government's assault on Ghouta, a rebel stronghold in the capital's outskirts.

Zahran Aloush said the rocket attack was a "taste" of what the Syrian military had done to Ghouta.

A video published by the Islamic Front, an umbrella Islamist group which includes Jaysh al-Islam, purportedly shows the rebel militia getting ready for shelling Damascus:

Local tweeps published pictures of the mortar attack:

The Islam Army's leader had warned this week that Damascus was a "military zone" and that his group would respond to airstrikes by the Syrian military on Ghouta, which left dozen people killed.