DAMASCUS—On a weekday in mid-August, traffic clogs the streets of downtown Damascus. Cafes and restaurants are overflowing with customers, relaxing as they smoke narguiles with friends. The souks are packed with shoppers almost every day, and the services industry is booming. In Bab Sharqi, a neighborhood in the old city, at least a dozen bars have opened over the last eight months. Every weekend they are packed with punters, enjoying a few drinks with their food as they listen to the latest Taylor Swift hit, interrupted by the occasional mortar explosion. Less than a kilometer away, the Syrian army and pro-government militias are fighting elements of Islamist and al-Qaeda linked armed groups in a war that will determine the country’s future.
About the Author
Also from SOFREP
- Major Global Conflicts Weekly Update: Coming Siege of Idlib, Merkel to meet with Putin, Taliban fights for Ghanzi, Mexico Murder Rate Rises
- Major Global Conflicts, Weekly Update: Israel declares end of Syrian Civil War, ISIS killed in Afghanistan, 25 murdered in Juarez Mexico
- Major Global Conflicts, Weekly Update: Peace talks and rebuilding Syria, informal talks with Taliban, Putin invites Trump to Moscow, government shutdown over border wall