WAR AND PEACE: Truce negotiations between rebels and the regime in the southwest Damascus town of Daraya collapsed two months ago, ensuring the continuation of the two-year government siege.
During his visit to Syria last week, Staffen de Misutura – the UN envoy to Syria – was optimistic that “freezes” in the fighting around the country could help Syria ease its way out of the conflict.
Stories of unsuccessful negotiations in places such as Daraya, however, demonstrate the obstacles facing this solution.
Two months ago the rebels and the regime were deep in discussion over a potential truce that would have lifted the sieged and ended the fighting. The discussions have since collapsed, with both sides blaming each other for its failure.
The town itself is strategically located next to a major military airport and sits along the international highway that stretches south to Daraa and Jordan.
In Daraya, as in other besieged rebel-controlled areas, children are among those that suffer most.
Here, a group of girls hold signs indicating their demands.
“We want our friends to return,” says one sign in Arabic, while another girl lifts a picture of a boy, presumably dead or missing.
“We want to play,” says the other sign.
-November 16, 2014
-Photo courtesy of Lens young Dimashqi.
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