I’ve spent months these past eight years in Syria’s amputated cities. They are a scar on all our lives – the Russians, the Syrians, the armed Islamists, the western powers that spent more time trying to destroy Syria than the Syrian regime.
- Robert Fisk
The bodies buried deep within these heaps of concrete, the survivors, and those invisibly but forever mentally wounded have paid the price of our military cruelty and indifference. Many of those who fled these gaunt cities are now in Europe – or at the bottom of the Mediterranean. And we don’t even know – or care? – about the statistics. Did 350,000 die here? Or 450,000? Or 500,000? These figures have all been used, a careless 150,000 separating the first from the last.
Beirut, Mostar, Sarajevo, Aleppo, Homs, and now Mosul and Raqqa – we are forced to ask ourselves if these sepulchral ruins are something we have come to regard as natural, something we accept or have accepted for hundreds of years: that destruction is a natural part of history.
I hope I don’t believe this. I’ve driven thousands of miles across Syria, with no minders (they are mostly called up into the army) and no protection to reach front lines where Syrian government soldiers, often wounded, have run and crawled through the broken concrete to show me Isis flags in the next field or broken house. …