Aleppo’s CITADEL is an imposing fortress situated on a mound at the centre of the city.

Joe Windsor-Williams


At the time of writing, Syria was one of the most dangerous places on the planet. To put it simply, you can’t go. And if you can, you shouldn’t. The uprising against the Assad regime that began in early 2011 long ago became a civil war. Syrians themselves have paid the heaviest price: as many as 475,000 people have died in the conflict and millions have been forced into exile. Westerners, including journalists and aid workers, have also been targeted, very publicly, both for kidnapping and for execution. In addition to the human cost, entire cities have been laid waste and untold damage has been done to some of the Middle East's most important historical and archaeological sites. Put simply, Syria is a war zone, and peace seems as far away as at any time since war began in 2011.


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The Umayyad Mosque, which is also suitably known as the Grand Mosque of Damascus, has been a site of worship since the 9th century CE


Travel throwback: The lost stories of Damascus

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