"And I have found both freedom and safety in my madness, the freedom of loneliness and the safety from being understood, for those who understand us enslave something in us. But let me not be too proud of my safety. Even a Thief in a jail is safe from another thief. "

Khalil Gibran (How I Became a Madman)

Lübnan Marunîleri / Yasin Atlıoğlu


Saturday, February 01, 2020

In Former Syria Rebel Stronghold, Nothing was Spared- Naharnet

Once the throbbing heart of the uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime, Maaret al-Numan is an eerie ghost town where few buildings have been spared by nine years of war.
Following a major ground offensive, the Syrian army captured the town in the northwestern province of Idlib on Wednesday, a key prize in its push to reconquer the country's last rebel enclave.
A day after government forces moved into the deserted town and set up their first checkpoints there since 2012, the landscape was one of desolation.
Maaret al-Numan, home to around 150,000 people four months ago, is now a field of leveled or gutted buildings, where shops' iron shutters are riddled with bullet holes and shrapnel scars.
The only people left in the once-bustling town are a handful of soldiers taking up positions on the rubble-littered streets.
Majed Marahesh, 27, remembers the day he first visited Maaret al-Numan 13 years ago with his classmates and teacher. Now he has traded his schoolbooks for a rifle.
"I remember its beauty and refinement," he tells AFP. "I remember the mosaics in its museum. I am back 13 years later but it's not the town I knew."