Syria's City of Homs, Shattered by War

A little more than three years ago, anti-government protests swept Syria, leading to severe crackdowns and then escalating into civil war. Homs, the third largest city in Syria, was one of a number of cities and towns besieged by forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad. Homs became an urban battlefield, and remained so until last week when a complex truce began, allowing rebel forces to peacefully leave and the Assad government to retake full control of the city. Residents who had fled the fighting were allowed to return last week, to see their homes and recover what they can -- most of the city is now unfit for habitation, and reconstruction will be necessary on a massive scale if Homs is to become a city once again. Gathered here are many recent images, as well as a few from 2011 paired with 2014 photos taken in the same places to show the difference three years of war can make.

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