Monday, December 28, 2015

What Damascus Looks Like, Four Years After the Arab Spring

Not all of Damascus looks like this but much of it does.

This is the Jobar neighborhood, close to the center of the city. Before the Syrian Civil War it was home to 300,000 residents, though the area looks larger than that figure would imply, with utter devastation seemingly stretching as far as the eye can see.

The photographs were recently taken by a Russian drone and re-posted in a number of news sites including the Daily Mail. There is also a haunting aerial video on RT News.

Note the dishes. I assume that means there are people (fighters?) still living there.

At one point Jobar also had a thriving Jewish community centered around the ancient Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue (not to be confused with the Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue in Alexandria, which has apparently been partially closed down). During the war, the synagogue was allegedly first looted and burned by Al-Qaeda and the Free Syrian Army. It was then mostly destroyed--by the government (according to the rebels) or the rebels (according to the government).

The Jobar area is still contested, with Islamist forces dug into a network of tunnels, though the government may now have the upper hand.

For what it's worth.

Whatever one thinks of the refugee crisis, this at least provides some perspective on it. Some of the residents were killed. Some joined one of the warring factions. But presumably, most of them simply fled.


  1. The "religion of peace" according to George Bush, Obama, etc.

    1. In fairness, many say that the secular government is most responsible for the destruction--Assad will do anything to cling to power, etc. But I think the contrasting narrative is becoming more and more plausible--Islamists who will do anything to gain power.