Sreenivasan:A new wave of Syrian government air strikes on a rebel-held suburb of Damascus killed at least 22 people.It's just the latest in a week-long bombardment targeting eastern Ghouta.Human rights monitors say the air strikes are coming from both Syrian and Russian aircraft.They estimate 500 civilians, including 200 women and children, have been killed this week alone.Today, the U.N. security council approved a resolution calling for a 30-day humanitarian cease-fire. In Syria, with the support of Syrian ally, Prussia, several previous cease-fires have failed over the years-long conflict.For more on the situation in Syria, we are joined by Anne Barnard of the "New York Times." She joins us via Skype from Beirut. Let's put this in context.500 people killed in just the span of a week. I mean, these are just rough estimates. But what is responsible for this surge of violence?
Anne Barnard: Well, mainly, right now, the government is trying to take over the last couple of large rebel-held areas, and one of them is eastern Ghouta, which is just to the east of Damascus. It's really adjacent to the capital city. It's a suburb, a collection of sort of concrete block buildings and agricultural fields.Right now, the bombardment, in a sense, are just a more intense version of what's been going on year after year after year. The besieged area that people can't get out of, and the government hasn't really been able to advance much on the ground up to now, so the strategy is just to bomb the area and try to force a surrender.
Sreenivasan:You mentioned a phrase that's important there, "the people can't necessarily get out of." Because a lot of folks are going to wonder, if there is such strife going on, why don't people leave? How are people actually maintaining some semblance of life in this suburb?
Anne Barnard:I mean, the main reason they can't leave is because they physically cannot get out.This area has been surrounded by the government for years, and that siege boundary was tightened in recent months because the government took over an area where there had been an outlet for tunnels that were used for smuggling. There still wasn't exactly free movement in and out back then. You know, the war economy was such that people on both sides would profit from food and people coming and going, and it was really expensive for ordinary people. That said, there was technically a way to get out, if you wanted to. But now, even that has become much more difficult and much more expensive. And then, there's a second reason, which is that many...The government has tended to treat anyone from these areas as suspect, and anyone who has a file against them with the government-- let's say they've been a civilian activist or a fighter, even doctors who treat people on the rebel-held side or even civilians in the rebel-held areas-- are considered criminals and terrorists by the government. So, there are people who, if they enter government-held areas, they're concerned that they will be arrested and sent to the security detention centers, where there's torture and all kinds of things that they don't want to be involved with.
Sreenivasan:How are people carrying on their lives there? I mean, some of the descriptions you have and some of the photographs, it seems that a lot of it is literally underground.
Anne Barnard:Well, it depends on the area. In some areas, people have basements in their buildings, or there are tunnels that have been dug that they can stay in, underground shelters. In other areas, there are not. so, there was a town a few days ago where 43 people were killed in an air strike because they were huddling in a basement that wasn't really built to shelter people. And there are other areas where people just don't have somewhere to go underground.
Sreenivasan:All right, Anne Barnard of the "New York Times," joining us via Skype from Beirut. Thanks so much. Thank you.
1.in context 在情境中
Taxation is not popular in principle, merely acceptable in context
2.carry on 进行
The consulate will carryon a political dialogue with Indonesia...
3.surge of 汹涌/蜂拥而来
In that moment a surge of hatred flowed through my blood
4.get out of 摆脱
It's amazing what people will do to get out of paying taxes.
安妮·巴纳德：嗯，主要是，现在，政府正试图接管最后几个被叛军控制的地区，其中一个就是东古塔，毗邻大马士革东部 。它确实与首都毗邻 。这里是一个郊区，混杂着混凝土砖块建筑和农田 。现在，本次轰炸，在某种意义上讲，只是往年这里境况的加强版本 。这里是被围困的地区，人们无法逃离，政府目前还没有真正在战场上取得大规模进展，因此目前战略只停留在对该地区实施轰炸，并试图迫使它投降 。
安妮·巴纳德：我的意思是，他们不能离开的主要原因是他们实际上无法出去 。这个地区多年来一直被政府包围，包围边界在近几个月又收紧了，因为政府接管了一个区域，这里是曾经用于走私的隧道出口 。那时这里还没有实现完全自由的进出 。你知道，战争经济是这样的，双方人民都会从食物和人口流动中获利，这对普通人来说实在是太昂贵了 。也就是说，严格来讲，如果你愿意的话，可以出去 。但现在，即使这样也变得更加困难和昂贵 。还有第二个原因，那就是很多...政府倾向于把这些地区的任何人视为嫌犯，任何人都有嫌疑 。任何有反对政府记录的人——我们说他们是平民活动家或斗士，甚至在叛军控制的地区为叛乱者行医的，或叛乱地区的平民，都被政府视为罪犯和恐怖分子 。所以，有人，如果他们进入政府控制地区，他们担心他们会被逮捕并送到安全拘留中心，那里会对他们使用酷刑，各种各样，他们不想招惹 。
安妮·巴纳德：嗯，这要看地区而定 。在一些地区，建筑物有地下室，他们也挖过隧道，这样可以呆在地下掩体里 。在其他区域，没有 。所以，几天前有一个小镇，那里有43人在空袭中遇难，因为他们挤在一个地下室里，而这个地下室，本并非用于避难 。还有其他地方，人们根本没有地下可以躲避 。
斯瑞尼瓦桑：好的，“纽约时报”安妮·巴纳德，从贝鲁特通过Skype与我们连线 。非常感谢 。