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Russia resists US push to pressure Assad
VLADIVOSTOK, Russia – Russia on Saturday soundly rejected U.S. calls for increased pressure on Syrian President Bashar Assad to relinquish power. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton tried to prod Moscow into supporting U.N. action to end the crisis in Syria, and she expressed hope that Congress would repeal Cold War-era trade restrictions on Russia.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, after meeting Clinton on the sidelines of a meeting of Pacific Rim leaders, told reporters that Moscow is opposed to U.S.-backed penalties against the Assad government, in addition to new ones against Iran over its nuclear program, because they harm Russian commercial interests. Syrian forces attack Aleppo; scores dead
BEIRUT – The Syrian regime pounded Aleppo with warplanes and artillery shelling Saturday as ground forces seeking to regain momentum in the country’s largest city advanced on three neighborhoods, activists said.
The Local Coordination Committees activist group said 148 people were killed nationwide, including 77 in Aleppo.
Associated Press
Fatimah Abdullah holds her 4-day-old twins, who were born in a Turkish hospital and brought back with her to the border where they take refuge.

Even newborns stuck at border

Syrians wait for new refugee camps

BAB AL-SALAMEH, Syria – Pregnant with twins, Fatima Abdallah survived shelling, hid under relatives’ beds and went without food during a treacherous weekslong trip across the Syrian border.

Safely in a Turkish hospital, she gave birth to a healthy boy and a girl. But after just two nights, she was sent right back, the victim of the overwhelmed country’s ban of new refugee arrivals until more camps can be built.

Abdallah, 29, brushed away the flies in a cramped, 10-foot concrete shed near the border crossing, where at least 5,000 other refugees waited to cross into a safer haven from Syria’s 18 months of violence.

She held her 4-day-old son son, Ahmed, as he furiously sucked away on his pacifier, while her daughter Bayan slept, eyes tightly closed, in pink and blue fuzzy blankets.

“I want a clean house,” she said softly, gesturing at the mud-tracked concrete floor. “Just a safe home for them, it’s just not clean here.”

Her plight is part of the poignant ordeal of at least 5,000 refugees stranded with little food and unsanitary conditions at the Bab Al-Salameh crossing, camped in immense sheds where trucks carrying cargo were once inspected.

Ailing refugees wait outside, some stretched out on cots, to be treated by doctors for diabetes and food poisoning. A baby whose family fled the city of Aleppo weeks ago sleeps in a car seat, surrounded by mosquito netting.

The refugees are stranded here on the border because of Turkey’s decision two weeks ago to ban new arrivals into the country until it can construct new refugee camps. The country has already taken in some 80,000 Syrians and will let women in like Abdallah, but only to give birth.

The United Nations estimates that there 1.2 million people displaced inside of Syria – half of them children – and nowhere is that more apparent than in Bab al-Salameh, which seems overrun by children of all ages, some even as young as the 4-day-old twins.

Abdallah and her twins are actually more comfortable than most in their small room. Around them, thousands of others sleep in the open, spreading plastic mats on the concrete at the mercy of the insects and the elements, their few possessions spread around them.