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Portrait of a destroyed Syrian town

At the beginning of the Syrian revolution in 2011, the town of Harasta, on the outskirts of Damascus was the scene of major protests against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. The Free Syrian Army captured the town from the regime in October 2012. The regime responded with rockets and missiles, driving the Free Syrian Army out within a few weeks. By this time, nearly all the inhabitants had fled, either to opposition held towns on the outskirts of Damascus or outside Syria.

In October 2015, opposition fighters once again captured Harasta from the regime. The regime forces destroyed the city before fleeing, digging tunnels and planting explosives to blow up buildings. Syrian media activist Firas Abdallah was one of the first photographers on the scene.

Images by Firas Abdallah.

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