The #WithSyria coalition, a grouping of 130 international humanitarian and human rights groups focused on ending the civil war and providing aid to those affected, released a series of satellite pictures, analyzed by a group of scientists based in Wuhan University in China. It showed the dip in “night-light” between March 2011 and now. They estimate that 83 percent of the lights in Syria “have gone out” since the start of the conflict. The effect is most noticeable around Aleppo, located in the north near the border with Turkey. In 2011, it is ablaze with light. Four years later, and there’s barely a flicker.
In some of the most war-ravaged areas, like Aleppo, an estimated 97 percent of the lights have gone out. This is a consequence both of the massive displacements of the country’s population, as well as the toll of the destruction wrought on Syrian physical infrastructure.
Former UK foreign secretary David Miliband, CEO of the International Rescue Committee and a member of the coalition, said that Syria has returned “to the Dark Ages” since the war erupted in the country in 2011.
What we are seeing is the literal and metaphorical return to the Dark Ages in Syria today,” he said, citing a report on the situation in Syria published on Thursday (12 February).
“The report shows that 83% of the lights are out in Syria, but metaphorically we’re going back to the Dark Ages with barrel bombings of civilians by their own government, with aid workers and doctors being targeted, this is a rolling back of some of the most basic norms and laws of war.”
Khalid Othman, director of projects at the interim Ministry of Energy, said that the regime’s systematic daily barrel bombing of Syrian cities and towns lead to the destruction of electricity generation facilities. Also, rebel-held areas suffer from shortages of gas necessary for the operation of power stations, while maintenance teams are unable to carry out their job due to lack of materials and the death of many maintenance and civil defense workers. (Source: Syrian Coalition + Agencies)