What’s the Story of Aleppo?
Four Syrians reveal the long and turbulent history of Syria’s second city.
We see and hear about Aleppo almost daily as news stories emerge of the hardship endured by its besieged people. After years of bombardment this once majestic place, the 'jewel' of Syria and one of the world's oldest inhabited cities, has been reduced to rubble. Thousands are dead. The residents who remain in the rebel-held parts of the city suffer from the ever-present threat of barrel bombs, while the international community has repeatedly failed to find a workable solution.
But why is Aleppo such an important part of the story of the war in Syria? The answer lies in Aleppo's historic role as a strategic city for so many people over the centuries, from Silk Road merchants of medieval times to the Assad regime and the forces currently battling for control of the country. Four Syrians, including one current Aleppo resident, tell us what life has been like in the city during its long and turbulent history.
(Photo: The Unesco-listed citadel (C) in the government-controlled side of the divided Syrian city of Aleppo. Credit: Getty Images)