The border town of Kfar Takharim appears to be a notable exception to the violence that’s spread across Syria.
Government forces and the Free Syrian Army have agreed not to interfere in the way the city is run or events inside, according to witnesses on the ground.
This means Kfar Takharim’s 23-thousand residents are, for now, free to gather in the streets and protest against the Assad regime.
For Mustafa al Hadji, a commander in the Free Syrian Army it is a victory for the people: “the regular army don’t respect anything or anyone when they enter a city, they bomb and shell homes, they kill children and the elderly and don’t think about the consequences.”
It is unclear exactly why Assad’s forces agreed to a truce in Kfar Takharim. For the rebels, it means an end to the Syrian army’s deadly and destructive missions – although it still controls the two main exits from the town centre.
The continued presence of government troops on the outskirts of the town is also a stark reminder that people may not have long to enjoy the freedom
to protest against the government.