Prior to the Syrian revolution, the village of Bseida in Idlib’s southern countryside was famous for its olive groves.
Since then, it has become known for its near-complete destruction.
The entire population – some 3,000 people engaged mainly in agriculture and livestock farmers – fled when government forces stormed the village and turned it into a military base. Almost 90 per cent of the village, south of Maarrat al-Numan, close to the Aleppo-Damascus motorway, was demolished during battles between government and opposition forces. The rest lies in ruins.
Most of Bseida’s residents sought refuge in nearby villages and Turkey. But now, around 500 of displaced have returned to live in harsh conditions in tents or amongst the ruins of their old homes.
Damascus Bureau’s Ali Dandoush visited Bseida and took the following photographs.