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Smoke rises over the Eastern suburbs of Damascus, which have come under attack during a government attempt to restore its control over the area. 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..