e Syrian government is on the edge of victory over rebels in the city of Aleppo. But after four years of devastating civil war, President Bashar al-Assad will be inheriting a shadow of the once vibrant metropolis. Reuters' Dominic Evans has more.>> Aleppo is one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world.
It dates back six millenia, and it was one of the staging posts on the Silk Road linking East and West. It's full of ancient buildings and monuments. It was also a vibrant commercial city before Syria's civil war started. It was a mixture of Umayyad Mosque, millennium old minaret, and it had a medieval covered market, and a 21st century supermarket.
Even as Aleppo became, if you like, the biggest military strategic prize that the two sides were fighting over, at the same time the city itself was crumbling, was turning to ruins. It got hit by airstrikes from the government, bombardment from both sides, from the government and its allies, and from the rebels.
Sections of the medieval souk, the covered market, have been burned down or destroyed, or lie in ruins. The minaret, built in 1070 has been completely toppled. The citadel and areas around it, many areas are in ruins. And even the newer buildings, the Sahaba Supermarket complex outside the city was taken over by several different rebel groups over the last four years.
For President Assad, victory is in sight. But the Aleppo he will be taking over is little more than memories kept alive in pictures of life before the war.