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Syria: A country torn apart

Reporter: Alaa Ebrahim 丨 CCTV.com

05-25-2015 13:53 BJT

Syria, a country torn apart by strife and bloodshed. Recent developments have further divided the country's territory between the government in Damascus, rebel groups to the north, and ISIL taking the Syrian desert.

A city brimming with uncertainty.This is what Damascus looks like this morning. There is little to give away the anxiety of the residents. Recent gains by rebels, Al-Qaeda and ISIL has placed the Syrian government between a rock and a hard place.

In March the Syrian government lost the provincial capital of Edlib province. In April, the strategic city of Jisr Ashoughour followed. In May Palmyra and parts of central Syrian fell to ISIL. But despite all of this the Syrian army aided by the Lebanese Hezbollah moved along the border with Lebanon taking hundreds of square kilometers of difficult terrain. It seems complexity is the only steady factor of the Syrian war.

The current situation leaves the Syrian government with 12 out of the 14 provincial capitals, and in control of most of the country's population. But the government has lost control of almost every border crossing along the over 800 km of borderline with Turkey. And this week it also lost its last crossing with Iraq. The same goes for Jordan, where AL-Qaeda's Syrian branch Nusra Front seized the last crossing point in April. Yet it remains unclear how much each group controls?

"The opposition says ISIL controls 50% of the country, rebels 22% and the government has the rest. But this is not accurate. ISIL controls the Syrian desert, which is one third of Syria's land area. But what does the control over empty deserts mean? All the major cities are still with the government," Journalist and political commentator Kamel Saqer said.

But the fight is far from over. The Syrian army continues to mobilize and recruit?struggling to keep order as Al-Qaeda and ISIL strike terror across the country.

"Sure, the situation is very difficult for the government now but it's not impossible. Damascus is better secured today than it was in 2012. The situation in Aleppo is also better, and if the government receives the push it needs from its allies - Russia with weapons and Iran with fighters - it can still bounce back," Military expert Dr. Turki Sakker said.

As the sun sets on Damascus, darkness engulfs the world's oldest continuously inhabited city. For most of its residents, the prospect of a bright tomorrow remains distant.

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