Syrians in Damascus relieved over easing of tensions
Wednesday, September 11, 2013 - 01:29
Sept. 11 - Residents in Damascus are relieved the immediate threat of air strikes is lifted but differences remain over how to end the international standoff. Mana Rabiee reports.
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Residents in Damascus say the palpable tension in the street is easing, now that Western powers are considering a Russian-led diplomatic solution to Syria's use of chemical weapons.
(SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) SYRIAN MAN THAER ABOU AMMAR, SAYING:
"This is obvious from the movements on the markets. God willing, the country is getting better."
(SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) DAMASCUS RESIDENT RASHID, SAYING:
"Damascus is the same and it is becoming better, better and better."
Agreement among many Syrians, perhaps …
…but in the international community, differences over how to end the standoff over Syria are already clear.
In Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said stripping Syria of its chemical weapons sends a "loud" message to Iran, which Israel believes is pursuing nuclear weapons technology.
(SOUNDBITE) ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU SAYING:
"The world must make sure that whoever uses weapons of mass destruction pays a price for it."
But in Russia, a top lawmaker warned military strikes would cause Moscow to rethink its policies in the region.
(SOUNDBITE) (Russian) INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN AT RUSSIAN STATE DUMA, ALEXEI PUSHKOV, SAYING:
"That would include expansion of defensive weapons deliveries to Iran, and discussing a possibility of revisiting our cooperation with the United States around Afghanistan."
Meanwhile, Syrians continue to flee their conflict, like these refugees at the Turkish border.
Their movement comes the same day a United Nations human rights commission said the "specter" military involvement in Syria may only 'fan the flames' -- and lead to even more civilian suffering.
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