The "terrible human suffering" in the now five-year-long war in Syria is truly staggering. What is also tragic is the horrific loss of the region's infrastructure and history. Schools, churches, mosques, roads, oil refineries, water pipelines, hospitals, landmarks and much more have been decimated. These are the most basic tools that the survivors of this nightmare need to continue to live. What is also staggering is that President Obama's "hands off" approach to the multiple crises in the Middle East is making the region even more unstable. According to our president, the most pressing problem that we face is climate change. He could not be more out of touch ...
From the BBC
The "terrible human suffering" inflicted on the people of Syria has been revealed in satellite imagery, the UN's Institute for Training and Research (Unitar) says.
Markets, power supplies, schools and hospitals are among sites destroyed amid the country's conflict, Unitar's analysis of the images found.
The organization will publish a full report on the damage caused by the four-year-long war next week, which it says "depicts with no uncertainty the terrible human suffering to which the people of Syria are exposed".
Homs, Syria's third largest city, has been a key battleground in the conflict and has suffered much destruction.
Schools in the Al Hamidiyah neighbourhood have been damaged and one has been completely destroyed. The area around the Khalid ibn al-Walid Mosque, one of the most famous mosques in Homs, has also been a target of numerous attacks.
The National Hospital and surrounding buildings along Al Korniche Street in the Jouret Al Shayah neighbourhood also show heavy damage.
Imagery from February 2012 also shows a large plume of smoke and an oil pipeline on fire on the outskirts of the Baba Amr neighbourhood of Homs (below). The pipeline carries oil to a refinery on the western edge of the city.
In the eastern city of Deir Ezzor, images show the historic suspended pedestrian bridge across the Euphrates River has been completely destroyed. Its destruction severed communication to the neighbourhood of Hassakeh and cut off access to an estimated 50,000 people.
Imagery from June 2013 shows no activity at Deir Ezzor's Cardamomo Market, unlike in December 2010 when numerous cars, market stalls and crowds were visible.
In the northern city of Raqqa, three tombs at a shrine, their minarets and other structures have been destroyed.
The Bab-al Hawa border crossing with Turkey was bombed in November 2012, likely by Syrian government aircraft. Hundreds of shelters housing refugees waiting to flee to Turkey can be seen in images from 26 November 2012, prior to the reported bombing.
In an image acquired the next day, a crater and blast area is visible to the north west of the settlement, with a second crater outside the settlement area. A number of shelters were damaged or destroyed.
Multiple historical sites have also been destroyed in the northern city of Aleppo (top of story), one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. The Carlton Citadel Hotel as well as the Great Mosque, its minaret and courtyard have all been damaged.
The entire district of Masaa Al Arbaeen in the city of Hama was flattened between 27 September and 23 October 2012 (below). A total of 3,256 buildings were reduced to rubble.
The Syrian government razed the structures in a campaign that appeared designed to punish civilians sympathetic to the opposition.