Speed Reads

apres la guerre

This is what Aleppo looked like before Syria's civil war, and how it looks now

The last of the rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad left Aleppo on Wednesday night, giving Assad control of the entire city for the first time since his crackdown on protesters sparked an uprising starting in 2011. Aleppo, once Syria's largest city and bustling commercial and industrial center, had been split between rebel control in eastern Aleppo and government control in the west until a recent push by Assad's forces, backed by Russia and Iranian militias, forced the rebels to surrender control last week.

The four years of civil war — and especially the final, brutal Russia-backed siege starting in mid-2016 — took its toll on the ancient city. The BBC found photos of the same landmarks before and after the long battle, and in the video below, you can get a sense of the city Assad just won back. Peter Weber