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A poster of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad with Arabic that reads “Welcome to victorious Syria,” is displayed on the border between Lebanon and Syria, July 20, 2018 (AP photo by Hassan Ammar).

There Will Be No Justice in Assad’s ‘Victorious Syria’

Friday, Aug. 17, 2018

The billboards that greet people crossing the border from neighboring Lebanon now read: “Welcome to victorious Syria.” It’s unclear if they’ve replaced the old signs inviting you into “Assad’s Syria,” which have adorned highways near Syria’s land borders and the Damascus airport for years. A decade ago, one of the many other pieces of pro-Assad propaganda lining roads and the sides of buildings across the country was a huge, backlit sign that guarded an entrance to Damascus’ Old City, abutting the medieval Citadel: “I Believe in Syria,” it read, next to a beaming, waving President Bashar al-Assad.

The Associated Press noted the new welcome signs in a cautiously optimistic report from Damascus late last month, where “many of the checkpoints that for years have snarled traffic are gone.” The outlying suburbs held by various rebel factions, recently retaken by the regime at a staggering cost, are again connected to the city center. “There’s a new feeling of hope that an end is near to Syria’s seven-year civil war,” the AP explained. ...

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