Can reconciliation ever heal a country with conflict wounds as deep as Syria?

The Syrian army’s local base in Aleppo is now a joint Syrian-Russian military headquarters, festooned with Syrian and Russian flags, its soldiery mixing together, Russian personnel sharing their own intelligence with the Syrians

A big diesel train edged out of Aleppo central station this week, pulling five long grey and blue carriages, its siren wailing over the city in the afternoon sun. In this part of the world, engine drivers do well to move slowly and warn shoppers, children, even the occasional urban shepherd, to keep off the tracks. But everyone knew that this train was putting on a show. In newly united Aleppo – especially in bloodily broken, smashed eastern Aleppo – any sign of a return to civilised life is a symbol of peace, albeit one imposed by the regime.

The train reminded Aleppines – I’ve never quite resigned myself to this (accurate) description of the people of the largest city in Syria – that their ancient home was recovering its greatness as a communications centre and one of the major commercial cities of the Middle East.

But there was a problem with the train. Far from heading south to Damascus or north to Turkey, it was hooting its way out of Aleppo for a destination less than 20 miles away, in the suburb of Jibrin, where, by chance, many of the refugees from eastern Aleppo now live temporarily in empty housing blocks which were once part of the city’s expansion plans. That’s the end of the line. A ticket costs less than the price of a cigarette lighter. The railway south towards to the capital was blown up in 2011 and part of the permanent way still runs through territory held by Isis and Jabhat al-Nusra.


Editor:    interesting paragraph:

But Palmyra can no longer be a publicity symbol for Russian-Syrian amity. “We, too, were angry and shocked,” a Syrian officer said of the brief return of Isis. Many of the vehicles with which Isis attacked came from Ninevah province in Iraq and included men who had apparently been allowed to leave the besieged city of Mosul – by the Americans, so the Syrian army suspects.

1 reply

  1. I would say: ‘Yes, reconciliation is possible’. But the first step should be to realize that you have all been ‘set-up’, by those planning the Destruction and Destabilization of Syria! (and Iraq, Libya, Yemen etc.). Not difficult to see, is it? Open your eyes!!!

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