This file photo taken on February 24, 2016 shows a member of the Syrian government forces guarding a look-out point in the Syrian city of Daraya, southwest of the capital Damascus. AFP / YOUSSEF KARWASHAN
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BEIRUT: Under international pressure, Syria's government has agreed to partial aid access for thousands of civilians living under regime siege, but one town near Damascus remains a "thorn in its side": Daraya. The town was one of the first to erupt in demonstrations against the government – and one of the first to be placed under a strict regime siege in late 2012 .Despite appeals from its residents, the United Nations and rights groups, Syria's government has steadfastly refused to allow aid convoys into the town, most recently in a dramatic 11th-hour rejection earlier this month.A source close to the government said: "Daraya has a special place in the government's mind.When Syria's uprising began in 2011, the town's protesters became renowned for handing out flowers and water to government soldiers.Aside from Daraya's strategic location, government sources and opposition activists have different theories for why the regime is so unforgiving when it comes to the town.
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