On July 19, 2012, Syrian rebels stormed Aleppo, Syria’s largest city and commercial hub. The year since has been nothing less than a disaster for the city: The war between insurgents and the Syrian military has destroyed the lives of the civilians caught in the middle, killing thousands. Aleppo’s cultural patrimony has also been destroyed — a 17th century souq that was a UNESCO World Heritage Site burned to the ground, while the medieval citadel in the center of the city was damaged as Syrian soldiers once again transformed it into a military base.
Amnesty International has now published satellite images that drive home the indiscriminate destruction of Aleppo. By dragging the divider across the image above, you can see the destruction of three neighborhoods that have been wracked by street-to-street fighting, as well as shelling and even SCUD missiles used by the Syrian military.
Amnesty has also released satellite images that reveal how the destruction has spread since the rebel offensive last summer. From scattered damage in the north and near the old city last October, the violence has extended across Aleppo, wreaking havoc across a once-prosperous city.
Colum Lynch is Foreign Policy's award-winning U.N.-based senior diplomatic reporter. Lynch previously wrote Foreign Policy's Turtle Bay blog, for which he was awarded the 2011 National Magazine Award for best reporting in digital media. He is also a recipient of the 2013 Elizabeth Neuffer Memorial Silver Prize for his coverage of the United Nations.
Before moving to Foreign Policy, Lynch reported on diplomacy and national security for the Washington Post for more than a decade. As the Washington Post's United Nations reporter, Lynch had been involved in the paper's diplomatic coverage of crises in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Sudan, and Somalia, as well as the nuclear standoffs with Iran and North Korea. He also played a key part in the Post's diplomatic reporting on the Iraq war, the International Criminal Court, the spread of weapons of mass destruction, and U.S. counterterrorism strategy. Lynch's enterprise reporting has explored the underside of international diplomacy. His investigations have uncovered a U.S. spying operation in Iraq, Dick Cheney's former company's financial links to Saddam Hussein, and documented numerous sexual misconduct and corruption scandals.
Lynch has appeared frequently on the Lehrer News Hour, MSNBC, NPR radio, and the BBC. He has also moderated public discussions on foreign policy, including interviews with Susan E. Rice, the U.S. National Security Advisor, Gerard Araud, France's U.N. ambassador, and other senior diplomatic leaders.
Born in Los Angeles, California, Lynch received a bachelor's degree from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1985 and a master's degree from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism in 1987. He previously worked for the Boston Globe.| The Cable |