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Aleppo sees cautious calm amid cease-fire

The truce agreement between opposition and government forces has allowed life to return to many areas in Syria, but many residents worry that it won't last long.
Children play near a bus barricading a street, which serves as protection from snipers loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, in Aleppo's rebel-controlled Bustan al-Qasr neighbourhood, Syria April 6, 2016. REUTERS/Abdalrhman Ismail - RTSDWK5
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ALEPPO, Syria — Umm Ahmed, 50, sat on the grass with her daughter in a garden in Sukkari, an Aleppo neighborhood. She sipped tea and talked with some of the other women in the garden as her grandchildren played around them on this sunny day. The atmosphere was comfortable and calm. The cease-fire agreement between the opposition and President Bashar al-Assad’s regime has allowed life to return to many areas, including Aleppo and Idlib, that had long ago grown weary of the civil war.

Under the agreement, sponsored by Russia and the United States, fighting between opposition and regime forces was to be brought to a halt, as the agreement put it, in a cessation of hostilities. Airstrikes on Aleppo decreased significantly after the truce went into effect Feb. 26. Incredibly, the sounds of shooting and shells, to which people had grown accustomed during four years of fighting, stopped.

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