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Has Assad Won The First Round In The Battle For Damascus?

The Syrian opposition scored a big victory last week with the assassination of members of Assad's inner circle, but the gains quickly slipped through their fingers in the face of the regime's overwhelming might. Layla M. goes to crucial Damascus neighborhoods in the battle, where she talks to city residents.
Layla M. Midan, Damascus, Syria

DAMASCUS — Tensions in the crisis-ridden Syrian capital ran high last week as temperatures hit 115 degrees Fahrenheit. A sense of oppressiveness was compounded by the stench of fermenting garbage and barrages of artillery, tank and helicopter gunship fire that rang through the city.

The audacious assassination of members of the regime’s upper echelons and simultaneous penetration, and control, of districts in the capital boosted the opposition’s morale to new heights last week, raising hopes that an end to the Syrian crisis was near.

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