Thursday, June 06, 2013

The Retaken Qusayr

I feel like I should post more on Syria, but I generally have little to say about military matters.  However, here is an account of Qusayr after it was just retaken by pro-government forces:
Before it was plunged into battle some 18 months ago, it was a thriving border city of 30,000 set in lush groves of olives and apricots.
Now, local officials tell us, only about 500 people still live in a place that lies in utter ruin...
There's more traffic on the streets but it's almost all soldiers travelling in tanks and trucks, on motorcycles and bicycles.
Most are piled high with mattresses, TVs, fridges and furniture as soldiers move from one abandoned building to the next, taking away as much as they can carry...
But even more worrying than Qusair's immense physical damage, the social fabric of society has been ripped apart. 
Down a desolate street, a battered Church of St Elias symbolises how many Syrians of many faiths once lived here together.
This Christian place of worship has not just been destroyed, it's been desecrated by the fighting.
Its marble floor is now carpeted in rubble and broken glass. Religious icons are defaced, prayer books burnt, the altar smashed.



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