The real Syria outside Bashar Assad's Instagram bubble
My colleague Olivia Ward blogged on Syrian president Bashar Assad's new Instagram feed and the photographs he has released in a vain attempt at propaganda. You have to marvel at how clean and clinical his surroundings are, note Assad's neat, pressed suit, and his wife Asma's impeccable hairdo:
So it's worth posting here some photographs of the real Syria outside the Assad family bubble taken in the last few days. Fear, death, dirt, terror and chaos is what defines daily life in Syria now.
Below: A man holding a stretcher runs after an apparent air raid by regime forces in the Duma neighbourhood of Damascus on July 30.
Below: Across the country in Homs, the heartland of the uprising, one of Assad's tanks stands outside the landmark Khaled bin Walid mosque in the Khalidiyah district on July 31. Two days before, the regime announced the district had been taken - clearly at whatever it took to capture it.
Below: War weary civilians carry bread at the Karaj al-Hajez crossing which is a passageway separating Aleppo's Bustan al Qasr, under the rebels' control from Al Masharqa neighbourhood, an area controlled by the regime on July 31.
Hamida Ghafour is a foreign affairs reporter at The Star. She has lived and worked in the Middle East and Asia for more than 10 years and is the author of a book on Afghanistan. Follow her on Twitter @HamidaGhafour