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You're reading: French direct aid a dubious break for Syria rebels
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France, Syria’s
one-time colonial ruler, began sending the aid without intermediaries
last week to three regions of Syria where the regime of President Bashar
Assad has lost control, in the first such move by a Western power, a
diplomat said Wednesday. But it remains limited, primarily repairing
bakeries, water systems and schools. And while apparently more than the
indirect assistance extended by other Western countries, it’s still far
from the magnitude needed to make a difference, Syrian opposition
activists said.

In the province of Aleppo, which includes Syria’s
largest city, and in the southern province of Daraa, activists said even
the new French aid hadn’t helped. When something is broken, it’s locals
who must fix it or just make do, said Mohammed Saeed, an activist in
the Aleppo area.

“Instead of fixing water systems,” Saeed said, “they should go and give food to 5,000 refugees stuck on the border with Turkey.”

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