A worker chops firewood for sale in Damascus, Syria, February 19, 2017. REUTERS/Omar Sanadiki
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Large parts of Damascus have survived almost six years of conflict in Syria relatively unscarred, but shortages of fuel and electricity, spiraling prices and a lack of jobs mean the lives of its residents are far from unscathed.Conditions in Damascus – though difficult – are better than in many other parts of Syria, with large districts mostly intact, suffering only occasional bombardment, and with running water restored after it was cut off for weeks earlier this year.When Sufian fled his war-ravaged hometown of Sheikh Yassine with his wife and three children four-and-a-half years ago for the comparative safety of his sister's house in Damascus, he left behind a prosperous life and ownership of two houses.Now, power cuts extend nearly 15 hours a day thanks to fighting that has destroyed vast parts of Syria's infrastructure and left natural gas fields that supply the country's electricity plants in the hands of the government's enemies.Syria's generating capacity has collapsed to 1,400 megawatts from 8,500 MW before the war, Kharbutli said, and only one of the country's eight gas fields can still supply the faltering power plants that are controlled by the state.
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