Κυριακή, 17 Μαρτίου 2013

The Destruction of a Nation: Syria’s War Revealed in Satellite Imagery






Smoke billows from a damaged oil and gas pipeline on the outskirts of the Baba Amr neighborhood in Homs, Syria on Feb. 15, 2012.
DIGITALGLOBE
Smoke billows from a damaged pipeline on the outskirts of the Baba Amr neighborhood in Homs, Syria on Feb. 15, 2012.


PHOTOS: Scenes from Syria’s two-year civil war.)Two years ago, joining a crescendo of protest around the Arab world, Syrians launched a peaceful uprising against the autocratic rule of Syrian President Bashar Assad. That dissent—met by a brutal government crackdown—has morphed into a bitter, grinding civil war between a fraying regime and a patchwork of rebel forces. The U.N. claims more than 70,000 people have died in 24 months of bloodshed, while the chaos has made over a million Syrians refugees.
The world watched the conflict first through a mess of grainy YouTube footage posted by rebels and then the courageous reporting of both local and foreign journalists. Syria occupies complex geopolitical terrain and the international community has floundered in its attempts to end a war that’s already spilling across borders in the region. The Syrian opposition is seen to be disorganized and disparate, while at least one leading rebel unit on the ground has been blacklisted by the U.S. State Department for its perceived terrorist connections. Few consider a decisive military intervention, such as the U.S.’s controversial invasion of Iraq a decade ago, a realistic option.
But while the international community quibbles over how to best arm the rebels and forge peace, the fragile political consensus—the tacit compromises, the cynical bargains between elites, the networks of patronage and support—that bound the Syrian nation-state under the Assads has unraveled. On the world map, Syria remains a country. On the ground, it has devolved into a battlefield warred over by sectarian fiefdoms, guerrilla outfits, extremist militias, criminal gangs and a regime clinging grimly to its dwindling sources of power and legitimacy.

Read more: http://world.time.com/2013/03/15/the-destruction-of-a-nation-syrias-war-revealed-in-satellite-imagery/#ixzz2NpW6UDlV

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