Mercenaries from Russia are ‘buying’ Syrian virgins for £75 as sexual partners as they fight a secret war against jihadists in support of Damascus dictator Bashar al-Assad, it has been reported.
Pictures of a colourful Ramadan iftar dinner taking place amid the rubble in the Syrian town of Douma have been widely shared online as a symbol of resilience in the face of death and destruction.
Photos and video of a heavily damaged street in the rebel-held suburb of Damascus emerged after being shared by rebel activists this week. The outdoor celebration was organised by the Adeleh Foundation, a rebel-affiliated charity group mostly run from Turkey.
Dozens of residents can be seen enjoying the iftar meal, eaten after sunset on fasting days during the holy month of Ramadan, which ends this week, including many smiling children.
Adeleh said it would organise meals up until Eid al-Fitr, which begins on Friday or Saturday – the holiday which follows Ramadan.
An agreement declaring the establishment of four ‘safe zones’ across Syria was negotiated by Russia, Iran and Turkey last month, and is mostly holding.
Douma has been a major flashpoint for conflict in the six-year-old civil war. It is currently controlled by Islamist rebel group Jaish al-Islam and has suffered air strikes since 2012 and a siege by pro-government forces since 2013.
It will take many months and millions of dollars to breathe life back into Aleppo’s devastated water, electricity, and transportation networks.
Four years of fighting have transformed it from Syria’s industrial and commercial powerhouse to a divided and dysfunctional city. Continue reading Aleppo has been destroyed to the ground – Who is the good guy now?