BEIRUT – A visit this week by a British-born Syrian journalist gives a first look into the devastation wreaked in Syria's Harasta.
That's where opposition fighters surrendered after a ferocious, Russian-backed air and ground offensive by government forces aiming to retake the region of eastern Ghouta on the edge of the capital Damascas.
A journey that before the war was just a 15-minute drive from Damascus now took Danny Makki well over an hour, clambering over giant ramparts of dirt and rubble. Visiting his house for the first time in six years in the town of Harasta, Makki couldn't recognize it.
The rebels agreed to lay down their arms in return for safe passage to opposition-held northwestern Syria.