Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Breaking News

Bonus content

March 1, 2014

In Syria, government pursues local cease-fires

BEIRUT (AP) — In one besieged neighborhood after another, weary rebels have turned over their weapons to the Syrian government in exchange for an easing of suffocating blockades that have prevented food, medicine and other staples from reaching civilians trapped inside.

The local cease-fires struck in at least four neighborhoods in and around the Syrian capital in recent weeks have brought an end to the shelling and most of the fighting in the affected areas. While deep distrust lingers on both sides, in some neighborhoods the lull has prompted residents displaced by earlier violence to return.

The government touts the truces as part of its program of "national reconciliation" to end Syria's crisis, which has killed more than 140,000 people since March 2011. But activists and rebels describe the deals as the final stage of a ruthless tactic President Bashar Assad's government has employed to devastating effect: shelling and starving fighters and civilians alike in opposition-held areas into submission.

With two rounds of United Nations-brokered peace talks with the political opposition in exile failing to make any substantial progress, and neither side able to clinch a military victory, Assad may be counting on such local truces to pacify flashpoint areas around the capital.

The deals carry two additional benefits for Assad: they free up troops in his overstretched military to be shifted to fighting fronts elsewhere in the country; and they allow the government to present itself abroad as a responsible actor actively trying to broker peace at home.

"It's important for the regime to have reconciliation," said an activist in Damascus who goes by the name of Abu Akram. "They want us to submit or be hungry. They want to free up their troops for other battles."

The exact terms have varied depending on the balance of power in each area, but the truces generally have followed a basic formula: the rebels relinquish their heavy weapons and observe a cease-fire in exchange for the government to allow aid into the communities.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Bonus content
  • ODD Brooklyn Bridge Mystery Flags-12 [Duplicate] Mysterious white flags appear atop Brooklyn Bridge NEW YORK (AP) — Someone has replaced two American flags on the Brooklyn Bridge with mysterious white flags. The white flags — international symbols of surrender — fluttered Tuesday from poles on the stone supports that hold cables above the bridge co

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Federal appeals court deals blow to health law WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal appeals court has delivered a serious setback to President Barack Obama's health care law, potentially derailing subsidies for many low- and middle-income people who have bought policies. If upheld, the decision could mean

    July 22, 2014

  • Music-Shawn Mendes-3 [Duplicate] Vine star Mendes finds breakthrough on pop charts NEW YORK (AP) — Six seconds isn't a long time, but Vine superstar Shawn Mendes made the time count when posting cover songs on the social media platform. The teen singer says he would pick the hits he would cover — and the sections of the tracks — an

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Schizophrenia Genome [Duplicate] Genetic mapping triggers new hope on schizophrenia WASHINGTON (AP) — Scientists have linked more than 100 spots in our DNA to the risk of developing schizophrenia, casting light on the mystery of what makes the disease tick. Such work could eventually point to new treatments, although they are many y

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Boston Marathon Suspects Friends [Duplicate] Marathon suspect's friend guilty of impeding probe BOSTON (AP) — A college friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was convicted Monday of impeding the investigation into the bombing. Azamat Tazhayakov was charged with obstruction of justice and conspiracy, with prosecutors saying

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hopkins to pay $190M after doc taped pelvic exams BALTIMORE (AP) — Johns Hopkins Health System will pay $190 million to more than 8,000 women whose bodies may have been videotaped or photographed by a gynecologist using a pen-like camera during pelvic exams. Dr. Nikita Levy was fired in February 201

    July 21, 2014

  • ODD--New Jail Jumpsuits-6 [Duplicate] In Michigan black-and-white stripes are the new orange SAGINAW, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan sheriff says he's trading his inmates' orange jumpsuits for black-and-white stripes, in part due to pop culture. Saginaw County Sheriff William Federspiel tells The Saginaw News that all-orange jumpsuits are increasin

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Boy also injured fingers on Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean ride ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A report says a 12-year-old boy suffered cuts to four fingers on Walt Disney World's Pirates of the Caribbean ride, three months before a British tourist had a similar accident. The report made public Monday by the Florida Depart

    July 21, 2014

  • Obama-6 [Duplicate] Obama gives protection to gay, transgender workers WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama on Monday gave employment protection to gay and transgender workers in the federal government and its contracting agencies, after being convinced by advocates of what he called the "irrefutable rightness of yo

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Weird Al Yankovic Portrait Session-9 [Duplicate] 'Weird Al' on his weirdly successful week in music LOS ANGELES (AP) — Attention pop stars: If "Weird Al" Yankovic shows up at your concert or has tracked down your personal email address, you're likely his next parody conquest. Such was the case for artists like Pharrell and Iggy Azalea, who are cove

    July 21, 2014 2 Photos

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Obama Offers Condolences at Dutch Embassy Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Raw: Lawmakers Scuffle in Ukraine's Parliament The Rock Finds His Inner 'Hercules' Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Raw: MH17 Passenger Remains in Kharkiv, Ukraine Raw: Israel Hits Gaza Targets, Destroys Mosques ShowBiz Minute: Hoffman, Oberst, Box Office WWII Vet Gets Medals, 70 Years Late Raw: Israel Bombs Multiple Targets in Gaza Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks From Space Station Widow: Jury Sent Big Tobacco a $23B Message New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll
Kelly Lafferty's video on Tom Miller