Before-and-after satellite photos show destruction of Syrian neighborhoods

January 30

Entire neighborhoods in Syria have been demolished during the country's war. A new report by Human Rights Watch accuses the Syrian government of, in some cases, carrying out this destruction deliberately, which it says violates international laws of war. The organization says the Syrian government claims that buildings were knocked down with explosives and bulldozers for legitimate urban-planning purposes, but it notes that that the demolition often followed outbreaks of violence in those areas.

Human Rights Watch says the Syrian government has destroyed at least 145 hectares (more than 270 football fields' worth) of neighborhoods since July 2012. The New York-based group based its information on satellite imagery, interviews, media reports, government decrees and YouTube videos.

These before-and-after satellite photos gathered by Human Rights Watch show neighborhoods in the capital, Damascus, and in the central city of Hama before and after their destruction. If you're having trouble displaying the images with the slider, scroll down for the images without that function. Image descriptions are from Human Rights Watch.



Mezzeh area, Damascus: Before


Dozens of high-rise residential and commercial buildings along the main road between Mezzeh Air Base and Daraya, a Damascus suburb.

After

Extensive demolition of dozens of high-rise residential and commercial buildings along the main road between Mezzeh Air Base and Daraya, a Damascus suburb.


Tadamoun, Damascus: Before

Six-story residential building on fire likely from artillery shelling in Tadamoun neighborhood on July 16, 2012.

After

Six-story residential building demolished with controlled explosives, as visible on September 22, 2012.


Masha' al-Arb'een, Hama: Before

The Masha' al-Arb'een neighborhood in Hama.

After

The complete demolition of the Masha' al-Arb'een neighborhood in Hama.
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