What Victory on Assad’s Terms Looks Like in Syria

A poster of President Bashar al-Assad, which reads in Arabic, “we have lived and we live so that Syria can live in the heart of Bashar Assad,” hangs on the ruins of a house in Ghouta, Syria, July 15, 2018 (AP photo by Hassan Ammar).
A poster of President Bashar al-Assad, which reads in Arabic, “we have lived and we live so that Syria can live in the heart of Bashar Assad,” hangs on the ruins of a house in Ghouta, Syria, July 15, 2018 (AP photo by Hassan Ammar).

“Is that a warplane over us?” a doctor asks. “Yes, it is,” says another, as an airstrike rumbles overhead. “Don’t look so frightened. It will be alright.” “Don’t worry dear,” a different doctor tells one of his patients. “We don’t have anesthesia, but we have music.” They are in a town outside Damascus in the midst of a five-year military siege. Their makeshift hospital is underground, in a series of tunnels and basement shelters below the devastated streets of eastern Ghouta, pummeled by the Syrian army, including with chemical weapons, and by Russian bombers. These scenes are captured in “The […]

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