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Syria Behind Rebel Lines

25 minutes
First broadcast:
Thursday 01 November 2012

Tim Whewell gets rare access to a rebel held town just north of Aleppo. Who are the rebels of Mare’a and what are they fighting for?

The programme is a rare portrait of a community divided by war. Men who were once friends now fight on opposite sides. Yet differences are put to one side when it comes to running the town.

The local mayor – a staunch supporter of President Assad – is allowed to continue to run the town because only he has the right connections with Damascus that enables fuel and salaries to be delivered across the front line.

The town’s school children haven’t been to school for months now so they play football in the streets ignoring the fighter jets as they fly low over the town dropping their bombs.

At the cemetery the grave diggers dig fresh graves in advance knowing that there will always be someone to fill them.


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