The Battles for Syria

Tom Pilston

Tom Pilston was commissioned by The Times to photograph inside Syria, where the death toll from intense fighting between President Assad's forces and numerous groups of opposition fighters has been rising sharply.~~When a regime bombs and shells its own people - in hospitals, bakeries, schools, apartment blocks and places of worship - it knows it is losing the battle. Aleppo is as brutal a place as anywhere on earth - neighbourhoods laid to waste, bodies lying in no man's land, the thud and crash of bombs and screams in the night. The frontline snakes through the old town and the souk, enemies crouching one block from each other down an alleyway, some so petrified of capture that they will fight to the death. For the moment, a deadly stalemate prevails. It is clear that this fight can only go one way. What is less clear is what post-Assad Syria will look like.~~

Up against the razor wire separating Syria from Turkey lies the refugee camp of Atmah. Thousands of terrified Syrians are stranded and bottlenecked here, trying to escape their own governments bombs. It is hard to imagine a more miserable place where the beginning of winter has brought icy rain. Men, women and children slip and slide through the mud, looking for food and water. Only the horror of constant shelling would drive them to a place like this.~~In Tal Rifat, Tom Pilston and Martin Fletcher from The Times, met Hakim, the local FSA commander. Martin Fletcher had met him some months before and could see the changes that had taken place over the past months of fighting. The rebel units had lost some fighters but gained a more steely resolve to fight on, knowing that if they lost the regime would exact a terrible revenge, worse than the bombing and killing they have already endured.~~Tom PIlston was commissioned by The Times and spent 15 days in November travelling in and out of Syria from Turkey, covering the unfolding tragedy of Syria's civil war.

 

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      SYRIA

      A group of Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters travel in...

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      A boy walks past the burnt out hulk of a tank sitting...

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      A Free Syrian Army soldier looks out across no mans...

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      SYRIA

      A Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighter fires down a street...

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      SYRIA

      A man selling cigarettes and two boys stand next to a...

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      SYRIA

      A young Free Syrian Army fighter surveys the...

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      SYRIA

      A Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighter stands amid the...

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      SYRIA

      The body of a woman, allegedly killed by government...

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      SYRIA

      A Free Syrian Army fighter runs across an alley in...

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      SYRIA

      Free Syrian Army fighters looking at a report about...

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      SYRIA

      Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighter Abo Yazen and his...

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      SYRIA

      A mural of a child playing a violin stands out from...

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      SYRIA

      Plastic roses, a broken globe and damaged lockers...

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      SYRIA

      A bomb shattered apartment block in the Bustam Al...

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      SYRIA

      A photograph of a man hangs from a wall in a bomb...

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      SYRIA

      Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighter Abo Yazen and his...

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      SYRIA

      A teacher stands among the twisted wreckage of the Al...

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      SYRIA

      A pupil stands next to a crater at the Al Baath...

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      SYRIA

      Free Syrian Army (FSA) commander Hakim Yaseen, looks...

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      SYRIA

      Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighter Abo Yazen squats at...

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      SYRIA

      Free Syrian Army (FSA) commander prays in a cemetery...

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      SYRIA

      Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters greet a boy who lives...

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      SYRIA

      A man carries a stack of flat breads past the remains...

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      SYRIA

      A man carries his possessions from his home in the...

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      SYRIA

      A Free Syrian Army fighter holds a photograph of...

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      SYRIA

      A man walks with his daughter along a street past a...

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      SYRIA

      A comrade holds his friends hand as the Free Syrian...

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      SYRIA

      Comrades of Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighter Abu Az...

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      SYRIA

      A boy looks up at the remains of a covered market,...

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      SYRIA

      A young boy sleeps on the lap of a Free Syrian army...

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      SYRIA

      A young girl sleeps on some bags containing her...

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      SYRIA

      A woman sets out to find water in the Atma refugee...

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      SYRIA

      A woman carries her child in the Atma refugee camp...

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      SYRIA

      Women que for water which is in short supply at the...

      © Tom Pilston

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      SYRIA

      A boy holds an assault rifle in the Atma refugee camp...

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      SYRIA

      Ahmed Talib holds his baby Amina, born in the night...

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