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Aleppo: then and now

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By Euronews
Aleppo: then and now

Once Syria’s most populous city, years of bloody conflict have left Aleppo completely destroyed. But that wasn’t always the case. A commercial and industrial powerhouse, the old city was designated a “UNESCO World Heritage site”: and rightly a major tourist destination.
Before the armies of death – Aleppo’s ancient Citadel and covered market, or souk, drew in armies of visitors.

Nowadays, Aleppo is hardly top of many people’s holiday wish lists. But, that hasn’t stopped President Bashar al-Assad’s government from promoting the city. Earlier this year, Syria’s tourist board released drone footage showcasing the western half of Aleppo seemingly untouched by war.

Bathed in glorious sunshine and featuring plush hotel pools and perfectly maintained parks, the promotional video, which featured the Game of Thrones theme song, was a world away from the brutal reality that residents were facing in Aleppo’s opposition-held eastern side.

Smashed to smithereens from the air by Russian and Syrian government forces in their bid to take it back from rebels, the comparison between the two halves of Aleppo today is both chilling and stark.

A shattered shell of its former glory, footage shows the extent of the destruction inflicted, particularly in recent months, on what was once one of the Middle East’s greatest treasures.