Syrian President Bashar al-Assad met with Iran's Foreign Minister to discuss a reaction to Israel's airstrike on a Syrian weapons convoy. Assad said Syria could deal with Israel but didn't announce a retaliation.
The convoy is the first to arrive since January. Some 50,000 people are stranded under desperate conditions at the Rukban camp, 18,000 of them children.
Millions of people have been displaced in the civil war and one-third of the country remains out of government hands. But the Syrian regime is holding local elections across the country to show strength and normalcy.
The German chancellor demanded free elections in four-way talks in Turkey on the possibility of peace in Syria. Merkel and the leaders of France, Russia and Turkey are hoping to capitalize on a shaky ceasefire agreement.
President Assad has promised that anyone who left the army or fled compulsory service will not be prosecuted. Under normal circumstances, desertion is met with a yearslong prison sentence.
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