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WATCH: First drone video shows devastation of war in Syria

The footage is a rare aerial view of the extent of the destruction in Syria.


VIDEO OF A neighbourhood outside the Syrian capital Damascus has provided a rare glimpse into the staggering scale of destruction that years of fighting has inflicted around the city, seat of President Bashar Assad’s power.

The drone footage was shot over the district of Jobar by RTR war correspondent Yevgeny Poddubny on Sunday and obtained by The Associated Press. An edited version can be watched below.

The video shows entire neighbourhoods of bombed-out residential buildings, most of them with gaping holes and others with their top floors collapsed.

Mushrooms of thick gray smoke billow out as targets are blasted, presumably by Syrian warplanes.

Thousands of Syrian army airstrikes and barrel bombs dropped from army helicopters throughout the country’s civil war have reduced entire opposition neighbourhoods to rubble.

Most are in central and northern Syria, and some are in the eastern suburbs of Damascus where the rebels have been entrenched for several years.

APTOPIX Mideast Syria Alexander Kots / Komsomolskaya Pravda/AP Alexander Kots / Komsomolskaya Pravda/AP / Komsomolskaya Pravda/AP

The destruction in Jobar revealed by the drone video is the closest seen so far to the Syrian capital, where Assad retains a firm grip on power.

Syrian troops have been fighting rebels in the frontline district, which lies only a few miles from the presidential palace, since 2013.

Neither side has been able to make a breakthrough in the fighting, although state media has reported Syrian army advances in the last week as part of a major army offensive.

Artillery shells and airstrikes on Jobar shake Damascus on a daily basis.

The video shows an elaborate network of long trenches used by rebels in the conflict. It also shows gunmen running from building to building as they try to dodge artillery and aerial bombardment.

On a bombed-out dusty street, two tanks are seen firing artillery almost simultaneously.

Jobar is part of the eastern suburbs of Damascus known as Eastern Ghouta, which has been held by rebels for years.

The video is the first imagery that shows the scale of destruction from the air.

Александр Пушин / YouTube

Contains reporting by the Associated Press.

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