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Frightened residents in the Arbin suburb of Damascus as , the district comes under sniper and grenade attack from Government forces. Protests against the ruling Baathist regime erupted in March 2011and although they were peacefully government forces violently repressed them. In response to being commanded to shoot unarmed civilians large numbers of men deserted the army and formed the Free Syrian Army and an armed uprising began with major clashes taking place in early 2012.