TAL TAMER, SYRIA - Ambulances howled down the road to Ras al-Ayn, while small trucks piled with mattresses, appliances and children hurried out.
At the hospital, about 10 minutes behind the convoy, doctors and nurses prepared to treat some of at least 35 patients who were believed to be trapped underground in a makeshift clinic in Ras al-Ayn.
The first attempt to rescue them Saturday morning had been swiftly aborted when bombs fell near their convoy.
We heard later that day that authorities had secured a "humanitarian corridor" to evacuate the injured, but the ambulance drivers and aid workers said they were not sure they believed it. Only a week ago, at least nine people were killed when another convoy to Ras al-Ayn was attacked.
Even if negotiators had secured a cease-fire, the people on the ground had no way of knowing whether the various military groups had agreed or would adhere to it.
"I guess we'll find out," said one British volunteer, a young woman in casual military garb and a long blonde ponytail, before preparing a dusty assault rifle in the back of a tan Land Cruiser marked Ambulance. More traditional foreign aid workers fled Syria a week ago.
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