AP MIDEAST SYRIA LIFE DURING WARTIME I FILE SYR

DILE – In this Sunday, Aug. 25, 2013 file photo, black columns of smoke rise from heavy shelling in the Jobar neighborhood in East of Damascus, Syria. Even in the capital of a country torn by civil war, Syrians have to find some way to enjoy themselves on a hot summer weekend. So the pool at a Damascus luxury pool was packed. The children splaying in the water paid no attention to the frequent thump of artillery and shells from fighting on the city outskirts. The veneer of normalcy is thin in Damascus, the stronghold of President Bashar Assad’s rule, after more than 2 1/2 years of bloodshed. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar, File) ORG XMIT: HAS302

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