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Sunday, Dec. 11, 2016, from Syrian troops, is a desert oasis surrounded by palm trees, and a UNESCO world heritage site, that boasts 2,000-year-old towering Roman-era colonnades and priceless artifacts. It is also a strategic crossroads linking the Syrian capital, Damascus, with the country's east and neighboring Iraq. (AP Photo, File) Manila Bulletin

Clashes near Damascus despite Syria truce

By Agence France-Presse Syrian pro-government forces clashed with rebels around the main water source for Damascus on Thursday, a monitor said, threatening a fragile ceasefire…