Damascus Then and Now

About a year ago a young, Damascus-based Syrian Journalist wrote a very famous opinion piece for The New York Times where he explained that although the Syrian uprisings (it hadn’t been declared a civil war back then) had been going on for roughly 8 months the Syrian capital, Damascus seemed to be immune from any repercussions. While cities like Homs and Aleppo were partially destroyed and in a state of emergency, a year ago the attitude of the residents of Damascus would make you believe the conflict is occurring in another country. Even thought violence had yet to hit the capital, those in the villages surrounding it were actively participating in the movements and believed it would just be a matter of time before the conflict would reach the center of the city.


And just as predicted, the Damascene’s optimism about their city being immune to conflict was crushed by all the bombings there have been to major government institutions in the past 4 months. This including the bombing of a Military Headquarter in central Damascus that caused the death of Assad’s famous brother-in-law and Syria’s defense minister. According to Time Magazine the fight for the capital city has only begun, making it clear that conflicts in Syria are far from being resolved. What was once considered to be a sanctuary from the storm is now the part of the country that is most fought over.

There seems to be no way of stopping the war from reaching Damascus since about 18 government institutions are located in the center of the city, making it a very desirable target for the Sunni rebels seeking the exit of the Ba’Ath party and Bachar Al-Assad from the government. Its hard to believe that in a little over 6 months the capital city went from being far removed from the situation to being the center of the conflict

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