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April 1, 2013 12:00 AM

As Syria’s war rages, villagers who’d fled to cities for better lives return

Until a few months ago, the village of Dweetchia was all but empty, one of hundreds of once-populated specks in northern and eastern Syria that had been abandoned over the last decade because of drought, environmental mismanagement and poverty, a modern exodus that led perhaps as many as a million Syrians to search for better lives elsewhere. The conditions that drove people from the villages haven’t changed, but Dweetchia is once again full of people. Many of its former residents have returned, joined by refugees seeking safety from the fighting that’s ravaged much of the country.

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