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Syria's stalemated conflict picks up speed again

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Courtesy of Syria's national news agency Sana/Reuters

(Read caption) A crowd gathers at the site of a blast in Jaramana district, near Damascus, November 28. Twin car bombs detonated in Damascus Wednesday, along with two blasts in nearby suburbs, killing and injuring scores.

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Twin car bombs detonated in Damascus today, along with two blasts in nearby suburbs, killing and injuring scores  – events whose grim familiarity underscores the unexpectedly protracted nature of Syria’s civil war, now in its 21st month. 

"We no longer count the days," Ramiz Moussa, a rebel fighter and former civil servant told the Associated Press. "Today we're in a battle, but we can't remember when it started, much less the past battles. You could ask me what day it is, but I can't tell you."

What started out as political protests during the 2011 Arab uprisings segued into a brutal crackdown by government forces, and then today's bloody civil war that opposition groups say has claimed between 30,000 and 40,000 lives.

"At the start, I never imagined it would last this long," another rebel fighter, Abdulllah Qadi, told the AP. "We have been at it for 20 months and we could be at it for 20 more. All we can do is keep fighting."

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