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Relief and defiance on the streets of Damascus

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-08-30

FRANCE 24 reports from the Syrian capital Damascus as residents expressed relief and defiance that an expected military strike has - so far - failed to materialise.

In the Syrian capital Damascus, there is relief that the bellicose rhetoric from the United States and France seems to have calmed – for the time being.

The day before the British parliament voted against joining any military action, FRANCE 24 spoke to residents of the capital - under the close supervision of regime handlers – amid an atmosphere of relative calm that belied the ferocity of a civil war that is tearing the rest of the country apart.

“Yesterday I was beside myself, I was scared, I was crying,” said one resident in the city’s oldest covered market. “I left the house, left the children and came and spent some time outside, in places like this one. Today's going better than yesterday, thank God.”

Another local was more defiant: “Yes, America was meant to bomb us today, they thought that we were scared. But in the end it didn't work, because they know that if they attack, they're going to set off the third world war.”

In an interview with FRANCE 24, Syrian Justice Minister Najm Hamad al-Ahmad compared possible military intervention against his country to the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

“What is the point of these strikes?” he asked. “They're doing all this so that some American or French dignitary comes back in a few years and says ‘oh sorry, we made a mistake’, and in the meantime civilians and children have already been killed.”
 

Date created : 2013-08-30

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