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Power The Military Technology

How the Lights Have Gone Out For the People of Syria (bbc.co.uk) 126

dryriver shares an excerpt from a report via the BBC that shows what the impact of the Syrian war looks like from space: Six years of war in Syria have had a devastating effect on millions of its people. One of the most catastrophic impacts has been on the country's electricity network. Images from NASA, obtained by BBC Arabic, show clearly how the lights have gone out during the course of the conflict, leaving people to survive with little to no power. Each timelapse frame shows an average of the light emitted at night every month from 2012, one year after the war began. They show that the areas where Syrians can turn lights on at night, power their daily lives and get access to life-saving medical equipment, have shrunk dramatically. The city of Aleppo was Syria's powerhouse and home to over two million people. But the country's industrial hub became a battleground and remained so for more than four years. Russian airstrikes against Syrian rebels began in October 2015 and the timelapse shows the city in almost complete darkness at night throughout 2016, when the battle for Aleppo was at its peak. As mains power supplies dropped off, ordinary people had to be creative in finding alternative sources for light and power.
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How the Lights Have Gone Out For the People of Syria

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  • End the War (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Ending the war is simple - the "rebels" should surrender. They have no chance of winning, not anymore.

    • Ending the war is simple - the "rebels" should surrender.

      'Cuz Assad will refrain from killing them, jailing the rest and taking the remnants of their possessions, right?

      • The next batch of rebels were allowed by Assad to leave Damascus district Qaboon for Idlib with their wives, children, guns and possessions. I could not imagine that Stalin could allow Nazis to be evacuated to Berlin after they are caught in Stalingrad. I also could not imagine the same about Japanese and USA in WWII, Saddam and USA, Gadhafi and USA, Chechnya and Russia in 2000 and Taliban and USA after 911.

        • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

          by Rei ( 128717 )

          You can choose to believe what you want, but the Nazis, too, did prisoner exchanges where it was useful to them. Assad's pockets of Foua and Kafarya have been being steadily evacuated to his territory in exchange for the rebel evacuations.

          Right now, Assad is trying to create a contiguously unified territory while trying to shove the rebels into as small of a pocket in Idlib as he can. And it's proven too hard to eliminate them by force from their positions in these pockets because of how well dug in they ar

        • Stalin, Saddam, the USA and Russia in 2000/2001 -- none of these had the type of data mining that even Assad has at his disposal today. They know the identity of every single person they let march out, will keep track of them, and will "take care" of them at a later date when the world is no longer watching.

    • Ending the war is simple - the "rebels" should surrender. They have no chance of winning, not anymore.

      They have no chance of taking Damascus and deposing Assad. But they have a good chance of holding onto territory and negotiating for autonomy. Wars seldom end in total victory for one side.

      Russia is Assad's main backer, but they have little to gain from an outright regime victory. Assad will no longer need them, so they will have less leverage. If the war drags on and on, the Russians can benefit from the continuing chaos, which they are skilled at exploiting.

      • They have no chance of taking Damascus and deposing Assad. But they have a good chance of holding onto territory and negotiating for autonomy.

        Or simply holding power until Assad is out of power for other reasons, at which point they might reasonably have a chance at a reconciliation agreement. Or holding out long enough for some sort of international resolution involving disarming and being protected by peacekeepers. There are lots of potential ways out, but none of them involve surrendering to a war criminal who would execute them.

        Russia needs to be seen helping Assad, because Assad's family helped the Soviets in the past. Helping him is a recru

      • by Uberbah ( 647458 )

        But they have a good chance of holding onto territory and negotiating for autonomy.

        And preferably along a route that would work for a pipeline for Saudi Arabia and Qatrar - the real reason for the "civil war" in Syria. Except the government of Syria has no reason to accept such an imperialist partition, nor should it.

        • Ok, then we snuff it out and install one that is more sympathetic. The war is already running, it's not like we're the bad guy for putting in some "humanitarian effort". Whoopsie, looks like that bomb went astray. Oh well, such things happen in a war.

  • Reliable electricity as a concern usually plays second fiddle to having food on the table and not waking up dead from a barrel bomb dropped on your house by your own people. But what do I know? First world privilege and all that.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Reliable electricity may not be absolutely essential, but it does make it a heck of a lot easier to put edible food on the table.

      Think refrigeration. Cooking. Boiling water. If you can't do these things, then the "put food on the table" task becomes fully an order of magnitude harder. (Where "hardness" is defined as a measure of how much time you have to put into it.)

  • by Uberbah ( 647458 ) on Wednesday May 17, 2017 @11:22PM (#54438955)

    Nothing more, nothing less. Western Exceptionalists, try and explain why Syria was targeted before the Arab Spring, or why the United States continued to sell weapons to the dictatorship of Bahrain. Which was busy, and violently, putting down it's Arab Spring protests at the same time as the U.S. was bombing Libya because Qaddafi was 'oppressing Arab Spring protesters'.

    • Nothing more, nothing less. Western Exceptionalists, try and explain why Syria was targeted before the Arab Spring, or why the United States continued to sell weapons to the dictatorship of Bahrain.

      Because neocons use eternal warfare as a jobs creation program and an economic stimulous as long as it is other people's children who get to die.

      • Well since this was happening during Obama's Presidency, why do you call them neocons?
        • Well since this was happening during Obama's Presidency, why do you call them neocons?

          I was pissed that O'Blama didn't do more to stop 9-11 as well. He knew, and did nothing.

          What looks like a non-sequitur is actually the answer.

        • by Uberbah ( 647458 )

          Well since this was happening during Obama's Presidency, why do you call them neocons?

          Because he's a neocon. Duh. Being a Democrat no more prevents one from being a neocon than being pro-choice precludes one from being pro-choice. [gopchoice.org]

          • That's interesting. So anti-abortion people aren't welcome in the Democrat praty but neocons are?
  • Night sky (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jargonburn ( 1950578 ) on Thursday May 18, 2017 @12:52AM (#54439297)
    So much less light pollution, the night sky is probably stunning! Except for the glare from the occasional rockets, I mean.
  • Didn't this happen in Lawrence of Arabia ?
  • I guess their greenhouse gas emissions would have gone down...

    Pun intended!

  • The lights went out when Islam arrived
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Not quite.
      A great deal of ancient Greek texts are readable today because of Islamic scholars. Islamic doctors were far ahead of their Christian counterparts 1000-500 years ago.
      You might also take note of the fact that Arabic numerals have largely replaced Roman numerals.

  • Keep it running for a few more years and you will see how Assad got all the lights back on.
  • DOn't arm "rebels".
    Don't overthrow governments.
    DOn't have SF and CIA in almost every country
    Don't have military bases in every country.
    Stop thinking proxy wars are a magical long term solution with no consequences.
    Take care of your existing troops.

    So many of today's problems are past actions by our own government. When will we realize that no person, or government, can predict the fallout from their actions. But this time "it is different"!!!! Right?
  • Well, that's what you get, when you have a war.
  • When the Bronze age cultures in the Eastern Med collapsed in 1177 BC due to piracy, invasion, technology (Iron!) and famine, it took most of the Western world into the first of the Dark Ages. Will the slow disintegration of civilization in Syria spread to Europe and beyond?

FORTRAN is not a flower but a weed -- it is hardy, occasionally blooms, and grows in every computer. -- A.J. Perlis

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