Photos Of Aleppo Rising: Swimsuits, Concerts And Rebuilding In First Jihadi-Free Summer

Tyler Durden's picture

When taxi and bus drivers take journalists into Syria via the Beirut-Damascus Highway these days, there's a common greeting that has become a kind of local tradition as the drivers pull into their Damascus area destinations. They confidently tell their passengers: "welcome to the real Syria." Local Syrians living in government areas are all too aware of how the outside world perceives the government and the cities under its control. After years of often deceptive imagery and footage produced by opposition fighters coordinating with an eager Western press bent on vilifying Assad as "worse than Hitler", many average Syrian citizens increasingly take to social media to post images and scenes of Syria that present a different vision: they see their war-torn land as fundamentally secular, religiously plural, socially tolerant, and slowly returning to normalcy under stabilizing government institutions.

As the most intense phase of fighting in Aleppo was unfolding in 2016, veteran journalist Stephen Kinzer took to the editorial pages of the Boston Globe to remind Americans that the media has created a fantasy land concerning Syria. Kinzer painted a picture quite opposite the common perception:

Coverage of the Syrian war will be remembered as one of the most shameful episodes in the history of the American press... For three years, violent militants have run Aleppo. Their rule began with a wave of repression. They posted notices warning residents: “Don’t send your children to school. If you do, we will get the backpack and you will get the coffin.” Then they destroyed factories, hoping that unemployed workers would have no recourse other than to become fighters. They trucked looted machinery to Turkey and sold it...


The United States has the power to decree the death of nations. It can do so with popular support because many Americans — and many journalists — are content with the official story.

Now, during the first summer of relative calm Aleppo residents have seen in over four years of grinding conflict, the city commonly referred as "the jewel of Syria" is once again rising from the ashes. Foreign journalists are also accessing places like East Aleppo and the heart of the walled 'old city' for the first time. Some few honest correspondents, unable to deny the local population's spirit of hopefulness and zeal with which they undertake rebuilding projects, acknowledge that stability and normalcy have returned only after the last jihadists were expelled by the Syrian government and its allies.

Aleppo orchestra concert, Summer 2017/via Sarah Abdallah

A Western press and political class which generally mourned the liberation of the city from al-Qaeda groups like Nusra (AQ in Syria), calling government actions a 'massacre' and 'genocide', now finds a reality that can't be ignored or denied: Aleppines are returning to ravaged parts of the city to rebuild, they are enjoying nightlife, going to music concerts, staying out late at cafes; families are swimming at local pools, women are strolling around in t-shirts and jeans free of the oppressive Wahhabi fighters that once ruled parts of the city.

Kinzer's Boston Globe piece further concluded that the entire web of assumptions on Syria woven by the media and fed to the public over the years were "appallingly distant from reality" and warned that these lies are "likely to prolong the war and condemn more Syrians to suffering and death." As new photos continue to emerge of the real Aleppo and the real Syria it is essential to revisit the most destructive among the lies that have helped serve to prolong this tragic and brutal war.

Aleppines didn't want to live under Wahhabi Islamist rule

Andalusia Swimming Pool in Aleppo, Summer 2017/via Syria Daily

According to multiple eyewitness reports and studies, the story of how war entered Aleppo's environs was not primarily one of mass public protests and government crackdown, but of an aggressive jihadist insurgency that erupted suddenly and fueled from outside the city. According to then Indian ambassador to Syria, V.P. Haran (Amb. to Syria from 2009 to 2012), Aleppo on the whole was unwillingly dragged into the war after remaining silent and stable while other cities raged. In an interview which detailed his own on-the-ground experience of the opening years of war in Syria, the ambassador said:

Soon parts of Latakia, Homs and Hama were chaotic but Aleppo remained calm and this troubled the opposition greatly. The opposition couldn’t get the people in Aleppo to rise up against the regime so they sent bus loads of people to Aleppo. These people would burn something on the streets and leave. Journalists would then broadcast this saying Aleppo had risen.

Why did it take until July 2012 - well over a year since conflict in Syria began - for Aleppo to see any fighting? Why did residents not "rise up" against the government?

The answer is simple. The majority of Syrians, whether Sunni, Shia, Alawi, Christian, Kurd, or Ismaili, are sane individuals – they’ve seen what life is like under the “alternative” rebel rule marked by sharia courts, smoke and alcohol bans, public floggings, street executions, desecration of churches, and religious and ethnic cleansing of minorities. They recognize that there is a real Syrian national identity, and it goes beyond mere loyalty to the current ruling clique that happens to be in power, but in Syria as a pluralistic Levantine society that rejects Saudi style theocracy.

Rebuilding Aleppo, Summer 2017. Latin Parish of St. Francis/via Sarah Abdallah

The kind of religious and cultural pluralism represented in the liberal democracies of the West are present in Syria, ironically, through a kind of government-mandated “go along, get along” policy backed by an authoritarian police state. One can even find Syrian Jews living in the historic Jewish quarter of Damascus’ walled old city to this day.

Syrian urban centers have for decades been marked by a quasi-secular culture and public life of pluralist co-existence. Aleppo itself was always a thriving merchant center where a typical street scene would involve women without head-coverings walking side by side with women wearing veils (hijab), cinemas and liquor stores, late night hookah smoke filled cafés, and large churches and mosques neighboring each other with various communities living in peaceful co-existence. By many accounts, the once vibrant secular and pluralist Aleppo is now coming back to life (and largely never left government-held West Aleppo).

"Moderates" did not "liberate" Aleppo, but gave cover to an ISIS and al-Qaeda invasion

Image: "moderate" rebels mock a Christian government soldier
—This photo was originally posted online by a Swedish based terror group in Syria after the Summer 2013 rebel offensive against the Menagh airbase near Aleppo. A rebel fighter mocks a captured Christian government soldier’s cross. Another photo posted in the original set reveals that the soldier was later tortured by being crushed with a large rock on his chest as he lay on his back.

One of the most under reported and least understood events surrounding the history of how all of Aleppo province and the Northern Syria region became a hotbed of foreign jihadists is the fall of the strategically located Menagh airbase near Aleppo. As a Reuters timeline of events indicates:

In early 2012 rebels take control of the rural areas northwest of Aleppo city, besieging the Menagh military air base and the largely Shiite towns of Nubl and Zahra.

After a lengthy siege of Menagh, the base finally fell to jihadist factions under the command of the US-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) in August of 2013. This event was key to rebel fighters gaining enough territory to cut off the Aleppo-Damascus Highway, which allowed them to encircle all of Aleppo for much of that year. But a little known yet hugely important detail of the Menagh episode is that rebels only got the upper hand after being joined by ISIS suicide bombers commanded by Omar the Chechen (ISIS' now deceased most senior military commander). The fall of this government base is what opened a permanent jihadi corridor in the North, allowing terrorists to flood the area. The commander for the operation was US Ambassador Robert Ford's personal friend, Col. Abdel Jabbar al-Okaidi, who was head of the US and UK funded Revolutionary Military Council of Aleppo (FSA). Okaidi worked in tandem with ISIS military commander Omar the Chechen and his crew for the operation - all while being supported by the United States and Great Britain.

Concerning US-backed Okaidi's close relationship to the ISIS faction in the summer of 2013, there is actually video evidence and eyewitness testimony (US Ambassador Ford himself later admitted the relationship to McClatchy News). Amazingly, the video, titled “US Key Man in Syria Worked Closely with ISIL and Jabhat al Nusra” never had very widespread public distribution, even though it has been authenticated by the top Syria expert in the U.S., Joshua Landis, of the University of Oklahoma, and author of the hugely influential Syria Comment. Using his Twitter account, Dr. Landis commented: “in 2013 WINEP advocated sending all US military aid thru him [Col. Okaidi]. Underscores US problem w moderates.”

The video, documenting (now former) U.S. Ambassador Robert Ford’s visit to FSA Col. Okaidi in Northern Syria, also shows the same Col. Okaidi celebrating with and praising a well-known ISIS commander, Emir Abu Jandal, after conducting the joint Menagh operation. In an interview, this U.S. “key man” at that time, through which U.S. assistance flowed, also praised ISIS and al-Qaeda as the FSA’s “brothers.” Abu Jandal was part of Omar the Chechen's ISIS crew assisting the FSA. Further video evidence also confirms Omar the Chechen's role at Menagh. The videos also show Okaidi proudly declaring that al-Nusra (Al-Qaeda in Syria) makes up ten percent of the FSA. The FSA was always more of a branding campaign to sell the rebels as "moderates" to a gullible Western media than a reality on the ground; it was a loose coalition of various groups espousing militant jihad with the end goal of establishing an Islamist polity in Syria.

Foreign fighters flooded Aleppo Province. The U.S. State Department’s own numbers: read the full report at STATE.GOV

In the end, terror groups like ISIS enjoyed a meteoric rise in Syria due to US government and media support for these so-called "moderate rebels" - all entities which collectively sought regime change at all costs - even the high cost of mass civilian death and suffering that inevitably results from unleashing an insurgency in urban areas.

The Syrian Army and government were never "Shia" or sectarian-based

Al Aziziyah neighborhood in Aleppo/via
 Syria Daily

The Arab Spring narrative was the ideological lens through which experts initially pit the oppressive supposedly “Alawite/Shia regime” against a popular uprising of Syria’s majority Sunnis. As Sunnis make up about 70% of Syria’s population, it was simply a matter of numbers, and of time. But this view proved overly simplistic, and according to one little known West Point study, utterly false. It was commonly assumed that the Syrian Army was a hollowed out Alawite institution with its Sunni conscripts apprehensively waiting for the right moment to defect to the rebel side. This was the fundamental supposition behind years of repetitious predictions of the Assad regime’s impending collapse, and predicated upon a view of the Syrian military as a fundamentally weak and sectarian institution. But West Point's 2015 study entitled Syria’s Sunnis and the Regime’s Resilience concluded the following:

Sunnis and, more specifically, Sunni Arabs, continue to make up the majority of the regular army’s rank-and- file membership.

The study's unpopular findings confirmed that the Syrian Army, which has been the glue holding the state together throughout this war, remains primarily a Sunni enterprise while its guiding ideology is firmly nationalistic and not sectarian.

The highest ranking Syrian officer to fall victim to rebel attack was General Dawoud Rajiha, Defense Minister and former chief of staff of the army, in a major 2012 bombing of a Damascus national security office. General Rajiha was an Orthodox Christian. Numerous Christians and officers of other religious backgrounds have served top positions in the Syrian Army going back decades - a reflection of Syria's generally nationalist and religiously tolerant atmosphere.

Mainstream press did not report from Aleppo, but was hundreds of miles away.

Outside the Citadel of Aleppo: life returning to normal, Summer 2017/via Syria Daily

The heavily populated urban areas of Syria continue to be held by the government. But most reporting has tended to dehumanize any voice coming out of government held areas, which includes the majority of Syrians. The war has resulted in over 6.5 million internally displaced people - the vast majority of which have sought refuge in government territory. 

The fact remains that there are some popular figures in the establishment media and analyst community who speak and write frequently about Syria, and yet have never spent a significant amount of time in the country. Throughout much of the war they've primarily reported from Western capitals - thousands of miles away - or, if they are in a Middle East bureau, without ever leaving the safety of places like Beirut or Istanbul. Fewer still have the necessary Arabic language skills to keep pace with local and regional events. Some have never been to Syria at all. They become willing conduits of rebel propaganda beamed through WhatsApp messages and Skype interviews, which was especially the case when it came to the battle for Aleppo. That much of the world actually considers these people as authorities on what’s happening in Syria is a joke – it’s beyond absurd.

Outdoor concert venue and Aleppo springs back to life, Summer 2017/
via Maram Kasem

We are hopeful that the jihadist menace will be fully expelled and that the international proxy war which has taken so many lives and reduced much of a beautiful nation to rubble will finally come to an end. Aleppines and other Syrians are rebuilding - they are optimistically preparing for the future. Welcome to the real Aleppo.

Final national exams just before summer 2017
/via Syria Daily

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
yellowsub's picture

Our gov't and allies provides funding to groups to carry out their dirty work, does that make them free of responsibility or just as guilty?

Lynn Trainor's picture

But Obama couldn't stand it and the Deep State still can't stand it, they wanted rid of Assad at all cost.  The countless thousands we have literally murdered in a nation we had no right to be in!  The largest refuee crisis since WWII, our fault!  I sure hope that Dave of X22 Report is spot on, that Trump knows exactly what he is doing, that the Deep State and the elites are going down.

Khan Bodin's picture

But former presidente Obama has a deep knowledge of assholic "pleasures" and dick-sucking. Ask his wife Michael. ehehehe

williambanzai7's picture

War crime trials for McCain, Clinton and Graham...

Schmuck Raker's picture

In 3,000,000,000, 2,999,999,999, 2,999,999,998....

williambanzai7's picture

War crime trials for McCain, Clinton and Graham...and Obunktard

LyLo's picture

I upvoted you, but gotta fix it:

We are at war with Al Qaeda.  I'm not even for the war against Al Qaeda, but it is declared and ongoing.  Al Nusra is a branch of Al Qaeda, making Al Nusra an enemy of the state.  We KNOW that at least Clinton, McCain, and Obama helped Al Nusra, providing them aid and comfort...

Fuck "war crimes:" this is, to an American, far more serious than mistreatment of captives or changing insignia on the battlefield.  Those are "war crimes."  Very serious, but not quite what we're looking at here.

This is treason.  To the fucking letter.  It's so serious it is the only crime that the original articles of the Constitution defines. 

GreatUncle's picture

Declaring one side to be the enemy and subsequently supporting the enemey in some form.

That is what has been done ... any American around the world because of such and action was to all intents and purposes murdered by the state.

ogretown's picture

Nice to see this city come back to life now that the victorious Coalition of Courage have defeated both the anti-Syrian, US backed terrorists and the smattering of ISIS louts.  One can only hope the folks are grateful to Assad for cobbling together a worthy coalition, Syria-Iran-Russia.  Hopefully that coalition can continue to grow and include other countries in the region as there is still one more huge battle coming up  - the cleansing of the Saudi sand monkeys. 

Hongcha's picture

The Neocon goal, at least starting at least since the Balfour Declaration, is to create permanent destabilization and powerlessness in all Islamic countries by bombing the culture to powder.  Amerika is the willing host and warhorse.  Amerikans in their guileless stupidity were sold World War One and have been sold and mindfucked relentlessly ever since.  A well-fed, hapless and stupid majority of the population. 

Arrest Hillary's picture

A well placed barrel bomb .... is more destructive than a cruise missle .... I love resourceful people ?

Which way to the beach's picture

"A well placed barrel bomb .... is more destructive than a cruise missle .... I love resourceful people ?"

And apparently, going by 59 cruise missiles a hell of a lot more accurate. Resourceful people, yes, very much so, having to make do underpunishing sanctions. At times it really does look like the SAAF are keeping the SU-22's flying with baling wire and duct tape. I have to admit laughing at the USAF statement that the SU-22 a F-16 shot down near Raqqa "the SAAF was threatening us. The only thing a SU-22 is threatening are CIA's assests.


Freddie's picture

I watched videos of Syrian air force pilots flying old Mig 21's with old bombs. These planes are falling apart but they were defending their people and country.  REAL heroes.  God bless Syria and her people.  Google Images and search Damascus Christmas.  You will see Chrismas lights everywhere.

Pierre Sprey saying F-35 piece of shit would be destroyed by an old Mig 21.

Crush the cube's picture

They haven't given up yet, the purple, blue, and yellow colors of the destroyer infect the photo's, there be more majik afoot.

el buitre's picture

Eventually the Syria armed forces will have to destroy the USSA Special Forces in the east of Syria and send back our "heroes" in body bags.  Let them stuff them with Afghani heroin like the CIA did in Vietnam.

BlussMann's picture

Russia brought order, justice and liberation, USSA brought chaos, death and oppression.

johnnycanuck's picture
Pentagon wants to build new US facilities in Iraq, Syria


The Donald Trump administration is pushing Congress for the authority to build new “temporary” facilities in Iraq and Syria as part of the US-led campaign against the Islamic State.

In a policy statement released Tuesday night, the White House argues that US troops are hamstrung by legal restrictions on their ability to expand US military infrastructure “in both Iraq and Syria.” The administration wants lawmakers to extend existing authorities that only cover the “repair and renovation” of facilities to also encompass “temporary intermediate staging facilities, ammunition supply points, and assembly areas that have adequate force protection.”
Freddie's picture

Legal restrictions like The Cinstitution and war crimes.  Pres. Jared Kushner=Soros-Netinyahoo is no different,

SmedleyButlersGhost's picture

Personally, I was hoping for more graphic swimsuit pictures to support their new found freedom.

Bopper09's picture

Well, Syria, the CIA only destroyed you until they were done, so good on you for rebuilding.  They've been destroying, and will continue to destroy the U.S. until they are eliminated.  They've taken much more from the west.

Schmuck Raker's picture

"Party on Nasimm"

"Party on Ghahib."

Schmuck Raker's picture

Go on Syria! Get DOWN with your own bad selves!!

Fuck Death. Fuck the MIC!!

Live, my brudders/bitches!!

GoldHermit's picture

Dah what's Aleppo?!?

Couldn't resist.

Jack Oliver's picture

Thanks Russia


Humanity !!

My countries ( Australia) media was absolutely complicit in this - they should ALL hang - every last FUCKING one of them !!!

Today's 'news' is total fantasy !!

Since Russia joined the fray in Syria - 25000 Zio/US sponsored 'terrorists' have been turned into fertiliser !!
Russian casualties = 20 !!!

Little wonder Turkey jumped ship !!

I think Russia has sent a pretty clear FUCKING message !!

You simply don't survive a war with Russia !!

veritas semper vinces's picture

Putin and Russia will gain the respect of the whole world.They are the hope of the humanity for liberty.

Funny how all this was predicted by Cayce and Baba Vanga

Khan Bodin's picture

Yea, Russia saved Syria from western terrorists, but Iran too. Don't forget to thank Iranians for destroying western wahhabi mercenaries too. They deserve it just like Russia does. 3/4 of westerners still think Murica is "force for good" though. Lobotomy or death can only cure that insanity. ehehehehe

Gallumhrasha's picture

good stuff, makes me happy. 

Khan Bodin's picture

I heard shoveling assholes with various round-shaped objects cause liberals to be happy. Some time ago liberals were happy taking African dicks in their filthy holes, but now they want new things to try. ehehehe They are ever searching to new pleasures. ehehehehe



Sebul's picture

looks better than Hamburg

beijing expat's picture

Well the good news for Syria is that the remnants of Obamas terrorist army will be leaving and heading west as refugees. They will be resettled in England Germany France and Sweden where they will undoubtedly make major contributions to the news cycle.

Our leaders are insane. So is the Left that supports them.

Gordon_Gekko's picture

I hope all of Obama's terrorist army refugees are placed in Washington DC and the city sealed shut with walls around it, so these corrupt politicians can get to know their "employees" up close and personal. No one comes out of that hole. Ever. Maybe we can "clear" the place once in a while if the filths starts spilling over.

sinbad2's picture

It seems the US has been flying them to the Philippines and of course Libya.

The US has invested a lot of time and money on these animals, and will use them again, against another victim.

fannyplucker's picture

Hillary & KSA must be unhappy to see these pictures. It is contrary to their apocalyptic vision.

Bureau of compliance's picture

Of course this cannot be tolerated. Next thing ya know the Syrian refgees will want to go home.

McCain wll have a butt baby.

Grandad Grumps's picture

If I was a Syrian, I would want to go home, if the evil Rothschild zionist satanic forces were not allowed to attack my once wonderful country.

Being 5 years behind schedule might mean that the people's heart is not in the whole murder and mayhem thing.

Can peace and love win over contrived conflict? Maybe AI just does not comprehend how humans fight evil... not with more evil, but by taking away consent for evil.

Wild E Coyote's picture

This is not news. The whole world knows this except the US blinded by the MSM that is FNM,  Fake News Media in collboration with the corrupt Globalist controlled State Depertment which in turn collborated with the Middle east evil axis of Saudi, Israel, Turkey, and Qatar. 



hutnela's picture

No one is blinded by this, not even in the US. Anyone not in the know is someone who just doesn't care about current events at all, and probably doesnt even know who the president is. Why the politicians keep up the act when so many people know the truth is beyond me. It must have something to do with recording history a certain way to avoid war crimes in the future, so they can say they "didn't know" as always.... that is, unless these political "leaders" get put on trial by the people.... which is what I'm hoping for. A quick trial and a hanging every one of em.

cookies anyone's picture

nice article, though I have a complaint. Calling them "rebels" is not appropriate. "Rebel" has dignity ring to it which the goat fucking morons have never had. "Cock sucking, soros backed, disgusting sheep fucking children of McCain" sounds better in my opinion

Khan Bodin's picture

It's an euphemistic name for western mercenaries there. "Rebels"... as rebeling against those the West tells them to rebel. Of course the term rebel is only applicable for locals, and those western "rebels" are no locals but mercenaries gathered from all around the world. Anyone who would be willing to fight for money, women and other kinds of wealth.

Sudden Debt's picture

Well, I'll go there on a citytrip next year if stays this way. Always heard it's a beautifull place

Whatchamacallit's picture

Go to Palmyra. It's mind blowing, truly. 

Blanco Diablo's picture

‘Without Putin, Syria Would Have Ceased to Exist’: Interview with Flemish Priest Living in Syria

'It is partly thanks to Hezbollah that so many Christians and other Syrians are still alive. They came to our rescue in our darkest hours. And the same goes for the Syrian army and the Russians. If Putin hadn't come in 2015, Syria certainly would have ceased to exist'

Christians are a minority in Syria. How do they see the violence of ISIS, Al Nusra and other groups? As a problem of Islam?

First of all, they regard these terrorist groups as a political tool of the West, to disrupt Syria and bring regime change. And not only the Christians, the Muslims in Syria are of the same opinion. They are ashamed of ISIS and Al Nusra. They say, “That is not Islam.”

I have always been treated with the same hospitality by Muslims as Christians. Syria is a secular state. Syrians regard themselves in the first place as Syrians, and secondly as Christians, Sunni, Grape, Alavite or Shiite. It’s clearly visible in the Syrian government. There you see ministers of various religions. Everyone can be himself. The harmonious cooperation of populations has always been characteristic of Syria.

If you want the truth about Syria this is a great article.

Khan Bodin's picture

Murica -- state which is the prime sponsor of terrorism all over the world. 

Whatchamacallit's picture

I was there a long time ago, all over the place in Syria. Very friendly people, and very proud of showing you how everyone was getting along well. They joked that if we wanted to go to the big market of Damascus, better go at the beginning of the week, because after that it was deserted for a third on Fridays (Muslims), a third on Saturdays (Jews) and a third on Sundays (Christians). 

And yes, even at that time, not many veiled women in the streets of the big cities --- nor in the countryside actually.

Grandad Grumps's picture

So, are we now to believe that Israel, the CIA and Saudi Arabia have given up their thoughts of conquest ... or that their hidden masters have decided that they have broken the people of this world and given up trying to provoke up into violence????

Admittedly, the old lies do not work. People are waking up. We are gaining a consciousness that the so called leaders are not capable of. The dying power can now only use their superior technology to murder us all or give up.

Infinite QE's picture

Imagine a jew-free world. A world where people are returned to their essence. GMO-free, bankster-free, degenerate art-free, degenerate music and film-free, jew-free. Where negros are returned to Africa. Imagine it and it will happen. Dissolve the jew DNA. It can happen.

Khan Bodin's picture

That's hard to imagine. As long as there are westerners in the world, the Jews will be here too. Who would suck the Jewish dick if there weren't any westererners! ehehehehe

HK VP9's picture

You'd suck any dick presented to your lips, but I am sure you still prefer to felch the goat's asshole, Achmed. Bugger off - the Syrians don't want what you are selling, either.

Toshie's picture

Don't send him off, I an kinda enjoying it . Lol