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The Method Behind Assad's Mad Propaganda

The Syrian government's recent tourism videos of beautiful scenery and nightlife look ludicrous to Westerners who know the brutal truth about Aleppo, but the West isn't the intended audience for this publicity blitz.

Assad's flowery rhetoric
Assad's flowery rhetoric
Annia Ciezadlo

BEIRUT — On Sept. 23, Syrian state media announced a new offensive against "terrorists" — its usual term for anyone in rebel-held areas — in eastern Aleppo, which has been under total siege by the government and its allied militias since July. The next day, an estimated 72 people died in government and Russian airstrikes on Aleppo, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Aid workers estimated that about half the casualties were children.

That same day, the Twitter account for SANA, the state-run Syrian Arab News Agency, announced that "Aleppo, now dubbed as the "World's Most Dangerous City," still boasts a thriving nightlife." A video clip showed young Syrians dancing to the pounding beats of the summer club hit "Sweet & Sour." The closing credits said, simply: "Aleppo," followed by "July 2016."

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A man walks on a tank left behind by Russian troops, on display in Kyiv’s Mykhailivska Square.

Lila Paulou, Lisa Berdet and Bertrand Hauger

👋 Hej!*

Welcome to Tuesday, which marks three months since the war in Ukraine started. Meanwhile, BoJo is in trouble again, and millionaires at Davos ask to be taxed more. Persian-language, London-based media Kayhan explores what the future of Lebanon could look like after the election defeat of Iran-backed Hezbollah.

[*Swedish]

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