Syria’s Assad seeks truce with civilians

Move seen as latest weapon against rebels; al-Qaida calls for stop to infighting

Posted: January 20, 2014 at 3:50 a.m.

BEIRUT — In the leadup to the so-called Geneva II peace conference this week, the Syrian government has quietly pursued a campaign of truce-making with opposition-held communities in and around Damascus that some observers say could further weaken the opposition movement and bolster President Bashar Assad’s global standing.

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Front Section, Pages 1 on 01/20/2014