For centuries, Aleppo was the Syrian region’s largest city and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. With its historic landmarks, medieval architecture and traditional heritage, it won the title of the “Islamic Capital of Culture 2006”, and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Before the start of the Syrian Civil War in 2011 and the Battle of Aleppo (2012–present), it had housed a population of over 2 million.
Today, the tragic city lies in grave destruction, with thousands of civilians having died from the Syrian army’s indiscriminate use of barrel bombs dropped from helicopters. Hundreds of thousands of people have been forced to evacuate. Here are the before and after pictures that show the devastating effects of war on this once beautiful city.