“Definitely there is pressure on the pound,” said a dealer at a second bank. “If foreign reserves are much lower at the end of the month the central bank will have to lower the pound.”
“According to the FSA commander, Abu Hilal was an infamous member of the shabiha in Aleppo — ghosts in Arabic, the term given to Assad’s paramilitary forces. The rebels claimed that Hilal was notorious in Aleppo, claiming he’d murdered or assisted in the killing of six people and raping a female student at Aleppo’s university. I wanted to ask Hilal about this at the time, but he was so mentally damaged from torture that you could have told him the sky was yellow and he would have agreed. I made this picture as he began to cower when more rebels piled into the room to view their prize: a member of the regime’s hated shabiha.
Later in the night, I was kicked awake and told to come outside. In the back of the dark compound, I saw a large flatbed truck. As I looked closer, I realized it was a massive truck bomb — maybe 400 kg or more, covered with recently clipped pine branches. I pondered the operation and couldn’t figure out how they were going to get the truck to their target, one of the last Syrian army checkpoints north of Aleppo. I suddenly realized the rebels’ plan — to make Hilal drive the truck to the checkpoint after convincing him he was going to be traded in a prisoner exchange.
I have seen numerous people die in battle, in hospitals from wounds in combat. It can be sad and traumatic, but there is a certain contract that fighters understand in battle — you kill or be killed. For me, though, this was different. I was watching a premeditated murder by rebels I shared food with and laughed with. They were not Islamist boogeymen. They were real estate agents, accountants, students, defected soldiers and nurses. And now they were deceiving and murdering a man who had already surrendered.
The rebels later returned to the compound with downcast eyes. The bomb had failed to detonate remotely and Assad’s forces had captured Hilal. I have never heard any accounts of what happened to him, though I imagine showing up to a regime checkpoint with a giant bomb is probably a surefire way to get executed. I am reminded by this about the nature of war — it’s ability to make decent people with a noble and just cause capable of absolutely terrible things, mutating them through pain and desperation.”
— Bryan Denton
But then, actual pushers, planners, architects of this war - is seeing further away.
In a way, beyond Syria.
Thing is - the current world has no intellect or thought corresponding to that.
I am kind of doubting it will. (I know few or some got it. Thinking about further from further away. As ‘Strategist’ - and few some others - as peacemaker.)
But will see.
Scene in Bethlehem where Abbas’ UN speech was screened on Israel’s wallpic.twitter.com/sUTT6KjQ George Hale (Maan)