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13 surprisingly serene images of Syrian rebels breaking from battle
When they're not risking their lives in their fight with Bashar al-Assad, these insurgents can be found sewing, preening, or playing pick-up soccer
Pins and needles: A Free Syrian Army fighter sews in the streets of Aleppo on Feb. 24
Pins and needles: A Free Syrian Army fighter sews in the streets of Aleppo on Feb. 24 REUTERS/Hamid Khatib
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yria's bloody civil war will hit its two-year mark this March, and still, embattled despot Bashar al-Assad clings to power. The all-consuming war has left more than 70,000 people dead — half of them civilians. Sadly, violent conflict has become the new normal in much of Syria,  and it's often only while taking refuge behind Aleppo's crumbled, pock-marked walls that Free Syria Army fighters can indulge in fleeting moments of their previous lives. Have a look:

Free Syria Army fighters play darts near Aleppo's front line on Sept. 26, 2012. (REUTERS/Zain Karam)

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A soldier tries to entice a stray cat to come a little closer in Khan al-Assal on Nov. 10, 2012. (REUTERS/Zain Karam)

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A rebel plays percussion while resting in an apartment near Al Neirab airport in Aleppo on Feb. 17. (REUTERS/Hamid Khatib)

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Rebels pose with their weapons and a snowman in Homs on Jan. 10.(REUTERS/Yazan Homsy)

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Soldiers play soccer in Aleppo on Feb. 17. (REUTERS/Hamid Khatib)

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A combatant takes a bite of his falafel sandwich in Kafranbel, Idlib province, on Jan. 16. (REUTERS/Giath Taha)

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Rebels sit at a battered table in the middle of an Aleppo street on Dec. 24, 2012. (REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah)

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A camouflaged fighter pulls from a hookah near the Menagh military airport in Aleppo's countryside on Jan. 25. (REUTERS/Mahmoud Hassano)

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Soldiers play a game of ping pong in Homs on Dec. 3, 2012. (REUTERS/Yazan Homsy)

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Rebels take a moment to pray on a street in a suburb of Damascus on Jan. 27. (REUTERS/Mohammed Abdullah)

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A rebel jokes with a child in the old city of Aleppo on Dec. 27, 2012. (REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah)

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A fighter finds a moment to fix himself up a bit in Aleppo on Dec. 25, 2012. (REUTERS/Muzaffar Salman)

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